Eric Metaxas’s book Miracles features a stunning chapter on the miracle of the universe. Metaxas explores recent findings in physics and biology to deduce that, in fact, that any life exists in the universe is miraculous. How miraculous? Given the qualities needed for life, Metaxas concludes that the odds are actually stacked against life—not just life on Earth, but any life at all. It would be like flipping a coin and it coming up heads ten quintillion times in a row, he says. “Yet here we are not only existing,” he writes, “but also thinking about existing.” Metaxas’s chapter on life in the universe was edited and published in the Wall Street Journal on Christmas Day, 2014. It quickly became the most clicked link in the history of the WSJ.com website. Metaxas struck a nerve when he declared: “The greatest miracle of all is the universe itself.”
I agree with Metaxas’s position that the universe must have been created. I am incapable of comprehending how rational humans can gaze at the Grand Tetons or study the production of new crust at the mid-ocean ridge or marvel at the transformation of pollen into honey and simply believe all that exists to be coincidental—even haphazard. The universe, as I understand logic, demands a creator.
But I do not believe the universe itself to be the greatest miracle of all.
One hundred years ago, astronomers knew of only one galaxy. They now estimate there are at least 100 billion. In the midst of this vast expanse, there is one set of creatures who have been declared to be loved by the Creator in a unique way.
This remote blue ball—Earth—is the Visited Planet. It is the one location worthy of the Incarnation—a decision by God to choose our race among the vastness of the universe as worthy of identification. It is within this tiny cross section of the astral canvas that the Lord became a babe. It is here that he grew, ate, laughed, taught. It is here that he prayed, wept, died, and was resurrected.
Compared to the size of the universe, humanity is infinitesimal.
And yet we are chosen—before the foundation of the earth was laid.
Indeed, the universe is a miracle, but I count it a greater miracle that the members of this lowly race were counted worthy of calling; that we were selected to be ushered into the Divine presence through the gift of the cross and the empty tomb.
Even now, I worship as I write. I enter into the presence of Father God—the creator of quarks and supernovae—because of the miracle of redemption. I grab fast of the throne of grace and demand to be heard, for I am an adopted son of the King. I sing to Him; pray to Him; speak of His love; proclaim His greatness; savor His rich mercy.
All because He saved.
Which—in my mind—is a miracle even more staggering than the universe itself.