Martha Householter, LPC
Feel like your life is out of control? Well, I have some really good news--straight from the world of science (and a commentary from Eric Metaxas). But first, let me tell you a bit of my story.
My son Joel Brian just had a birthday. He’s 24 years old now—if they count years in heaven the same way we do on earth. It still feels unfair that I only got to mother him for eight months and 22 days before bacterial meningitis stole away his earthly future. At one point in my grieving and groping for answers, I learned that a mere 0.0003% of the population contracts meningitis each year in the United States. Of those 800 to 1,200 cases, 10 to 15% result in death. I wondered why my son (or anyone) got to be a part of that elite group back in 1994. It seemed so arbitrary—and certainly heartbreaking. Is God really in control or are we just floating in a sea of random molecular motion?
This is where the world of scientific inquiry comes in. Fifty years ago, the famous observer of the cosmos, Carl Sagan, noted two factors necessary to support life on any given planet in the universe: 1) the right kind of star to orbit around, 2) from the right distance away. In Sagan’s view, there had to be thousands, if not millions, of other planets besides earth meeting those two simple criteria. Scientists eagerly set out to link up satellite communication with other universe dwellers, fully expecting a barrage of intelligent chatter in return.
But no one answered.
As more and more data about the cosmos and our earth has been collected, it seems that there are a few more prerequisites for life to be sustained. In fact, over 200 such parameters have been identified--so many that by any estimate, life as we know it SHOULD NOT EXIST AT ALL!
So why is this such good news? Because you and I DO exist, and that means every detail of life on Planet Earth is sustained under incredibly intricate design. There must be Someone with a plan and purpose larger than mixed-up molecules. In scriptural terms, “all things have been created through Him and for Him. He is before all things, and in Him all things hold together” (Colossians 1:17-18). LIFE IS NOT OUT OF CONTROL after all. Much of it is beyond our understanding, to be sure, but there IS a loving Creator behind it all, One who limits evil and offers redemption when evil is allowed.
The next time life seems random, empty and hurtful, remember we have yet to see the culmination of God’s original plan. He does all things well (Mark 7:37), and one day He’ll show us the answers that we can’t fathom today.
My son Joel has come to understand these mysteries ahead of me, which makes me a little jealous! But it will be a joyous day when we can walk together “on high,” fully embracing the beauty of God’s design.