One in Seven Billion

just another face in the crowd

Every now and again I can’t help but think about how many people live in the world. When we tell someone, they are “one in a million,” we are usually complementing them. The fact is, as individuals, we are one in seven billion. There are seven billion people currently alive on earth. Our beloved planet is small potatoes in our solar system, which is small potatoes in our galaxy, and merely a tiny speck of dust in our gigantic universe. Let me put all of this into perspective; we are each an individual of seven billion people on a tiny, miniscule planet in an enormous universe. This can be a hard pill to swallow for some people who are convinced that they are the center of the universe! Contemplating how teensy we are can make you feel rather unimportant and insignificant.

The psalmist David must have been feeling rather small when he said, “When I look at the night sky and see the work of your fingers—the moon and the stars you set in place— what are mere mortals that you should think about them, human beings that you should care for them?” (Ps. 8:3-4 NLT). It’s amazing that the God who created the universe cares about each of us. “By faith we understand that the entire universe was formed at God’s command, that what we now see did not come from anything that can be seen” (Heb. 11:3 NLT). “Though the LORD is great, he cares for the humble” (Ps. 138:6a NLT).

While pondering how big the universe is, and how small I am, I saw a little bird flying about. I wondered how many birds there must be in the world. Some scientists estimate four-hundred billion birds cover the earth. I thought to myself, that little bird must feel very insignificant. But he doesn’t. He knows his Heavenly Father specifically watches over him. Jesus said, “What is the price of two sparrows—one copper coin? But not a single sparrow can fall to the ground without your Father knowing it” (Matt. 10:29 NLT). In even a greater way, God knows all about us. “The very hairs on your head are all numbered. So, don’t be afraid; you are more valuable to God than a whole flock of sparrows” (Matt. 10:30-31 NLT).

The Bible tells us that God knew us before we were born (even before we were a twinkle in our father’s eye). He told the prophet Jeremiah, “I knew you before I formed you in your mother’s womb. Before you were born I set you apart” (Jer. 1:5 NLT). If He knew Jeremiah, he surely knew us before we were born as well. In Psalm 139:13-16, David acknowledged that God knows everything about us because he formed us in our mother’s womb. “You made all the delicate, inner parts of my body and knit me together in my mother’s womb. Thank you for making me so wonderfully complex! Your workmanship is marvelous—how well I know it. You watched me as I was being formed in utter seclusion, as I was woven together in the dark of the womb. You saw me before I was born. Every day of my life was recorded in your book. Every moment was laid out before a single day had passed.” In a nutshell, David declared in Psalm 139 that God knows every detail about every one of us. He is not a distant deity in a remote island in the cosmos!

The old saying goes, “The devil is in the details,” but God is the one who takes great joy in the details of our lives. “The LORD directs the steps of the godly. He delights in every detail of their lives (Ps. 37:23 NLT). Remember, Jesus said that God knows how many hairs are on our heads; or in my case, how many hairs are missing! We are special to God because we are His work of art. Ephesians 2:10 tells us, “For we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago” NLT. He created the universe and everything in it, but amazingly, He considers us His ultimate masterpiece. He valued us enough to send His own dear Son to redeem us back to God and restore our rightful place and relationship with God. You may be just one in seven billion, but to God who loves you, you ‘re one of a kind, baby!

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