You hem me in behind and before, and you lay your hand upon me. Psalm 139:5
In 1990 the spacecraft Voyager I, which had been launched in 1977, finally reached the outer edge of the solar system as it passed by the little planet Pluto. At more than four billion miles from the earth, it took a photograph back toward the sun. If you look closely at the photo, you would be able to see a pale blue dot, like a tiny speck of dust. That dot is the earth. Could this be how the earth looks to our great God? That thought may be interesting to contemplate, and it could only be true if God was limited to human vision and if He diminished Himself to enter our galaxy, one of myriads of galaxies out there.
But God is not like that! He is not distant, aloof and uninterested. Instead, He draws near to humanity. We are the crowning work of His creation living on that pale blue dot, and He is deeply interested in every one of us. God loves us so much that He sent His only Son to save us from the curse of sin.
We’ve made mistakes in our lives in the past, but if we have brought them in repentance to God, they are forgiven. Scripture tells us as far as the east is from the west, so far has he removed our sins from us (Psalm 103:12). In this way, God has hemmed us in behind. He’s put in, if you will, a protective barrier behind us to protect us from our past. Our future might look uncertain, with more questions than answers. But He has promised to be with us always, to the very end of the age (Matthew 28:20). In this way, He has hemmed us in before. Then in His love, God has laid His hand upon us every day. Right now, right here, God is with us, caring for us today and guiding us tomorrow. Jesus told us to “not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear… Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? (Matthew 6:25,26).
The almighty God spoke the stars into existence and possesses all the power in the universe – and then some, and yet, He still desires us. The Son of God came all the way to that pale blue dot and let Himself be crucified by the very people He created, so that He might redeem us. God wants our time, our loyalty, our wholehearted worship. He is worthy.