“Are you ready?” Ruby looked across the living room at Jasper and Amber who both had their notebooks open on their laps.
Mica was digging through his pencil box, but after a moment he held up his eraser. “Ready.”
Ruby tapped the corner of the square mouse on the laptop, and the video started. She settled into the recliner, throwing a light blanket over her lap before laying her notebook on top.
As the speaker took them on a tour of the solar system and beyond through vivid slides, Ruby watched with interest, stopping often to jot down notes. One image, in particular, captured her fascination. It wasn’t all that much to look at and wasn’t nearly as beautiful as the closeup pictures of the planets, but it was what the speaker said about the picture that almost took her breath away and filled her heart with awe.
This photograph looks like a simple picture of the night sky with dozens of stars. Guess again. Each of those spots of light, from the bigger ones in the front to the specks in the back, is not a star but a galaxy. A typical galaxy has 100 million stars. So, this picture gives you a glimpse at dozens of specks that are actually millions upon millions of stars.”
Ruby’s hand holding her pen hung limply over her notebook. Hundreds of millions of stars, so far out into space that I can’t even imagine distances that large. It makes me feel small and insignificant. As small as the earth is, it’s amazing God even remembers we’re here.
The speaker switched from telescopes and galaxies to microscopes and molecules. He showed pictures of minute particles, explaining just how tiny they really were. At the end of the talk, he wrapped it up by talking about people.
“We can look way out into space or deep into the particles inside matter. Both seem to stretch on endlessly the further we look and the more powerfully our equipment is developed. But, it seems from what we have discovered that somewhere near the middle of these two extremes is right where we stand. It is fitting since God in His infinite love and plan views us as the most important part of His creation.”
When the video ended, Ruby gathered her notes and went up to her bedroom to write her school essay. She started writing quickly, eager to be done with school for the day, but her thoughts kept interrupting and would not be put off.
I know God loves us, but I sure don’t understand how He can value us so much when He has a whole universe. Even though I know the Bible says that God is love, I’ve often struggled with viewing Him as just waiting for me to mess up so that He can come down on me for it. Now I wonder how He can care enough to think of me at all or even remember that I’m here!
With a dissatisfied sigh, mostly aimed at herself for allowing these kinds of thoughts a place in her mind, she reapplied herself to her essay and soon had it finished. She headed to the kitchen, made hot apple tea in her favorite mug, and went outside with the mug in one hand and a book in the other.
Her eyes took in the yard, in search of the perfect location for reading. Now that the oppressive heat of summer had been replaced by fresh breezes with hints of the coming winter, she could sit anywhere she wanted instead of looking for the coolest spot. Finally setting up a lawn chair out in the yard next to a bird bath, she settled in. But, she didn’t open her book right away. It lay idle in her lap as she stared at the trees across the driveway. The ancient oaks with their monumental trunks had often filled her with awe and a sense of smallness; now they themselves seemed like specks on a rubber ball, lost in the corner of a football field.
“What is man that thou art mindful of him?” flitted through her mind. I guess that’s the point. We aren’t worthy of being thought about, but God chose us anyway. He chose us because it was His plan, and He loved us. I sure don’t know how He can love someone as insignificant and prone to messing up as me. Since I can’t even keep patience with myself sometimes, and He knows me better than I know myself, it seems like He would be frustrated.
Ruby finally hushed her thoughts that would have kept rambling by opening her book. The story caught her up instantly, and she tuned out the rest of the world. It wasn’t until her dad’s car pulled down the driveway that she snapped back into reality.
Mica was playing with a frisbee near the driveway, and Mr. Randall went to join his son. In the clear, fall air, their words carried freely to Ruby.
“I noticed the trash can wasn’t by the mailbox. Did you already bring it back?”
Mica caught the frisbee his dad had thrown and stood fingering it. “No, I – I forgot to put it out this morning. I thought of it once and didn’t do it then, and then I didn’t remember again.”
Mr. Randall looked serious. “Why didn’t you do it when you first thought of it?”
“I was going to show my model plane to Jasper.” Mica’s words were low and barely reached Ruby’s ears. “I’m sorry.”
“Next time, you should obey right away, son, and not put it off. I know you meant to do it, but that’s not good enough. You can help with supper dishes tonight, and I’m not going to remind you, okay?”
Mr. Randall crossed the distance between himself and Mica to give the boy a hug. “I forgive you, son. I know you want to do right.” Just as quickly, he was several feet away so their game of frisbee could continue.
Ruby had witnessed such scenes between her father and her siblings and experienced some herself, but never had it struck home the way it did this time. Maybe it was the contemplative mood she had fallen into that day, or maybe it was the bookmark on her lap with one of her favorite Scripture verses.
Like as a father pitieth his children, so the LORD pitieth them that fear him.
She had believed this verse before – or at least she had thought she had – but now it came alive in a whole new way. Of course, God wasn’t sitting there waiting for her to mess up so He could come down on her. He was a loving Father Who wanted her to do what was right and receive His smile of approval. When she messed up, there were consequences, but He wanted her to repent quickly so that they could go right back into fellowshipping and enjoying each other’s company.
Mica threw a fast and crooked throw, and Mr. Randall lunged toward it, tripped and barely saved himself, and then ran after the frisbee that was rolling and bumping along the ground. Both he and Mica were laughing in enjoyment.
Ruby’s eyes raised to the blue sky: the one she knew held a host of expansive galaxies. But, it wasn’t to them her thoughts were turning this time. It was to their Creator.
Father, I’ve viewed you so wrong, but now I begin to see. You are my Father and love and value me. You want that kind of relationship with me. Not duty. Not cowering. But, loving obedience and happy togetherness through every situation. I want that, too.
For ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but ye have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father.
Do you enjoy encouraging stories that relate to your life? Sign up to be notified about new stories!
What does the image of God as your Father bring to your mind?