new_horizons_050901_02 (1)On July 14th at 7:49 a.m., a tiny spacecraft called New Horizon will fly within 7,700 miles of Pluto.  Pluto, which is now considered a dwarf planet, is some 3 billion miles away, so far away, that it takes Pluto 246 years to make one revolution around the sun.  It has taken 9 ½ years for this probe, about the size of a grand piano, to travel that distance at an amazing break-neck speed of 31,000 mph.  How far are 3 billion miles?  Consider this; it takes 4 ½ hours to send a signal to the spacecraft and then 4 ½ hours for the reply.  Imagine calling a friend on the phone and asking the question, “How are you?” and then 9 hours later receiving a reply, “Not very well!”.  At 31,000 mph, one could travel from Birmingham, Alabama to New York City in 1 ½ minutes and around the world in 46 minutes, but to get to Pluto it took 9 ½ years! That’s far away!

                How far are you from God?  Since God is eternal, time and distance are really irrelevant for Him.  2Peter 3:8  But do not overlook this one fact, beloved, that with the Lord one day is as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day.  When Hezekiah learned of his life-ending sickness, he sought God in prayer.  Isaiah the prophet had just given the news to Hezekiah, and before he could leave the next room God answered his prayer and gave him fifteen more years.  He demonstrated the truth of His promise by making the shadow go backwards on the stairs, or in other words- God altered time.  (2 Kings 20, Isa. 38).   God did the same for Joshua, by making time stand still in the Valley of Aijalon. (Jos.10).

However, God’s promises to Abraham were not completely fulfilled until Christ died on the cross.  (I Co.1:30, Gal.3:16, Gal.3:28) some 2000 years later.  In Peter’s day, Christians were getting impatient, believing the second coming of Christ was not going to happen.  Doubters cried out, “Where is the promise of his coming? For ever since the fathers fell asleep, all things are continuing as they were from the beginning of creation.”2 Pet.3:4.  Peter addressed this error with the following response, “The Lord is not slow to fulfill his promise as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing that any should perish, but that all should reach repentance.” 2Pe 3:9.  

                Since that was penned, 2000 years have passed. We are still waiting patiently for our Lord’s return and scoffers are still scoffing.  If we could have traveled at the speed of the New Horizon Spacecraft (31,000 mph) over that period of time, we would have traveled 630 Billion miles.   That’s only 10% of 1 one light year, not even a quarter of the way to our nearest neighboring star!  If one were to observe such movement from say the other end of the Galaxy, it would look as if we had not moved at all.

                How far away is God?  If you love and obey His voice as did Hezekiah, He is only a few steps across a room.  If you scoff, doubt, or disbelieve; He is further than you can even imagine.  Remember these words of James, “Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.  (8)  Draw near to God, and he will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded.” James 4:7-8 

 Darryl Fuller