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The Thrill of a Shooting Star

Shooting star
"Ah Lord GOD! behold, Thou hast made the heaven and the earth by Thy great power ... There is nothing too hard for Thee" Jeremiah 32:17

It is quite possible that you were hit today by a piece of a star falling from the sky! But it would have been so tiny that you probably would not have been aware of it. It is estimated that about 10,000 tons of "star dust" from outer space comes to the earth every year! Although this is a lot of weight, in comparison to the weight of the earth, 600 quintillion tons (600,000,000,000,000,000,000 tons), it isn't much at all.

Shooting stars! How thrilling to be looking into the night sky and see a bright streak of light falling toward the earth. These are called "shooting" or "falling stars." Sometimes showers of these stars are visible. It is a wonderful sight, and yet to some people it is a frightening one. A person not knowing what they were might think the very stars of heaven were falling.

Actually, most shooting stars are just little pieces of material no bigger than a grain of sand. They have traveled millions of miles through space until, attracted by earth's gravity, they turn toward it. Traveling many times faster than a bullet, they enter our atmosphere, and the friction from the air makes them white hot. They burn up in the flash that you see in just a moment or two. All that remains is a speck of ash or rocky mineral that turns to dust, eventually falling to the ground or into lakes or oceans. Isn't it the goodness of God that provides the earth's protecting atmosphere so these do not harm us?

These shooting stars are actually meteorites, and countless billions of them are believed to be racing through space all the time. On a few occasions over the centuries, larger ones have fallen all the way to the earth without being burned up and destroyed. In Africa one has been found that has been estimated to weigh 60 tons. In the Museum of Natural History in Washington, D.C., another meteorite weighing 31 tons is on display which is only part of a 200 ton meteorite found in Greenland.

Where do they come from? No one really knows, but it is thought they may be parts of a comet's tail sweeping the sky, or particles that escaped from the "Asteroid Belt" that travels in a great orbit between Jupiter and Mars. But no one can explain how they were formed.

However, we can be sure that God knows all about meteorites, and perhaps He directs some of them our way to remind us that our world is just a speck in His vast creation. But what an important speck it is! It was only on this earth that He created and placed man. It was only to this world that He sent His Son, the Lord Jesus, to provide a way for us who were far from Him because of sin to be saved now from those sins. It was the death of Jesus on Calvary's cross that paid the debt of sin of all who accept Him as their Saviour and Lord. It is written, "Who His own self bare our sins in His own body on the tree, that we, being dead to sins, should live unto righteousness: by whose stripes ye were healed" (1 Peter 2:24).

Thus the way to heaven is provided for all who confess themselves to God as lost and helpless sinners and who through faith accept the Lord Jesus Christ as their Saviour and Lord. Are you one of these?

Copied with permission from Messages of God's Love. More articles in The Wonders of God's Creation (Volume 1-4) by Sidney R. Gill, also published by Bible Truth Publishers, Addison, ILĀ 60101.

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