How many stars can you name? Not movie or sports stars, but actual stars in the night sky. I know Polaris. And Orion—no, wait. That’s a constellation. And, ummm. Hmm. Yeah, I think I’m done. I can name exactly one star. Not very impressive, is it?
What about you?
How Many Stars Are There, Anyway?
Have you ever wondered how many stars are out there? If you’ve ever been in a dark, country area where you aren’t surrounded by city or street lights, it’s amazing. Pinpricks of light cover the midnight sky, perhaps for no other reason but that God spoke them into existence. Think about that for a minute.
Because I can’t help myself when I have a question, I went looking for an estimate on the number of stars in the universe. Clearly, I’m out of my league here. Although it makes sense to me now, my very non-scientific brain didn’t even consider adding the detail “observable universe.” I suppose a piece of me believes that someone out there can answer my question with an exactness. A knowing that goes beyond complex formulas.
The Observable Universe
SkyandTelescope.com says astronomers estimate that the observable universe “has more than 100 billion galaxies. Our own Milky Way is home to around 300 billion stars. … By measuring the number and luminosity of observable galaxies, astronomers put current estimates of the total stellar population at roughly 70 billion trillion.”
Billion trillion. Sounds almost like a made up number, doesn’t it? I just don’t deal with numbers that big in my everyday life.
Some websites agree with Skyandtelescope’s numbers and other websites have larger numbers, but it doesn’t really matter for this discussion. That’s a lot of stars, and no one on earth knows if that’s all of them.
God Calls Them Each by Name
But my heart instinctively relaxes when reading Psalm 147:4. It says that not only does God determine the number of stars, He calls them each by name. Billions of trillions of stars. And God calls them each by name.
If that’s not impressive enough, Isaiah 40:26 says, Because of His great power and mighty strength, not one of them is missing.
In our vast universe where we can’t even count the stars, not one changes form or explodes without God knowing. Not one.
I sometimes have trouble coming up with the right name for the one of my three children standing in front of me. I hate it when my brain is looking for a particular word, and it just won’t come to me. More than once I’ve walked the neighborhood looking for our dog who escaped from the yard. Lost phone, yep. Regularly. Misplaced keys. More than once. Sigh . . .
But God Watches and Keeps Track
That’s the point. I’m confident that both the author of the Psalm and Isaiah struggled like we do. Oh, obviously not with lost keys or phones, but they might have had an obstinate goat that refused to stay home or perhaps they misplaced a sandal from time to time.
You see, God is bigger and smarter and more in control. Way more than me or you even on our best days.
If He can keep track of the names and positions of billions of trillions of stars across more than one hundred billion galaxies, do you seriously think He’s going to have any trouble keeping track of the people who love Him? The people who seek Him?
Rest assured: God watches over you.
The Lord will watch over your coming and going both now and forevermore. ~Psalm 121:8
One of the best ways to remember God is in control is to journal your prayers. Even a simple list that you keep updated with His answers is an encouraging reminder that He’s watching over you and your loved ones.
Have you ever wanted to keep track of your prayer requests AND the answers God provided in an easy to read format? Me too! But I’ve never found one I liked.
In my new prayer journal, you’ll find short monthly devotions, inspiring quotes, and space to keep track of the answers with the prayers, side-by-side, so you can easily look back to see what God said and when He showed up!
Also includes verses on prayer and sample prayers straight from Scripture to help you pray God’s Word in your everyday life. Formatted in non-specific monthly segments so you can start anytime during the year!