An interesting fact about the earth is that its spin axis is tilted with respect to its orbital plane, at 23.5 degrees. It is this tilt that causes the seasons. When the earth’s axis points towards the sun, it is summer for that hemisphere and when its axis points away, winter can be expected. It has been argued that this tilt is such that the seasons are also perfectly calibrated for life. That is, the seasons are neither too hot nor too cold. Earth itself is perfectly positioned within what astronomers call the “Goldilocks zone”, a region of space surrounding a star in which a planet could maintain liquid water on its surface. This region is also “just right”, not too hot and not too cold. With water comes the possibility of sustaining life.
I’m reminded of Psalms 8:3, that the universe, the earth, and all that is in it is perfectly calibrated by our God, “When I consider your heavens, the work of your fingers, the moon and the stars, which You have set in place”. Yet, amid the vastness of the heavens, our Lord has given us a special position for Psalms 8:4 reads, “what is man that You are mindful of him, the son of man that You care for him?”
In my small group, we are studying the life of Moses (Exodus 2), and here again, God’s perfectly calibrated plan can be seen. Moses was born during a period in which Egypt’s Pharaoh issued a decree to kill all male Hebrew newborns. Moses’ parents saved him by putting him in a basket and floating him away on the Nile. He was eventually picked up by the daughter of the very same Pharaoh who issued the murderous decree. She then delivered Moses to his own mother to be nursed, with wages no less! And of course, Moses would eventually lead the Israelites out of Egypt into the Promised Land. Such a plan could not have been more perfectly executed by our Lord.
I’m also mindful that God’s perfect plan may not be pain-free or crystal clear to us. Moses’ parents must have feared the worst for their child even as they watched the basket float down the Nile. Many years earlier, Joseph, who would be put in charge of Egypt, would first suffer false accusations of rape and imprisonment (Genesis 39), before being used by God to save his family. For us believers, a learning point is that we often may not have clarity in what His plan is for us. Like Moses’ parents, Joseph and many others, we only have our current circumstances to contend with but we are certainly not left in the lurch. God reveals His plan for us through many means, for example, through our very circumstances, through Church leaders, mentors and other believers, as well as through His Word.
Paul also says in 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 “Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.” Put differently, Jesus gave Himself for us, and in response, we pray out of our gratitude for His love.
We give thanks in any circumstance, knowing that no matter what we currently face, God is for us and that nothing can separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus (Romans 8:38-39). Finally, God gives us the assurance that we are where we should be. Romans 8:28 attests to this “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love Him, who have been called according to His purpose.”
By Dr Dion Goh (YCKC Bulletin 8&9 March 2014)