"Have you seen these?" he asked, and lying there were four fairly new pennies with different images on them than we had grown up with. One had a log cabin. Another had a young rail splitter, taking a rest to read a book. A third had Lincoln standing in front of the state capitol in Springfield, Illinois, and the fourth the US Capitol.
We wondered if they were real, so I looked it up and yes, indeed, they are real, minted in 2009 to celebrate the 200th birthday of Abraham Lincoln on February 12, 2009. The four images show the various stages of his life, from childhood to the presidency. Then I found another article about a new Lincoln penny minted the next year, a union shield with a draped scroll to celebrate Lincoln as the preserver of the Union.
But tell me this, when was the last time you even looked at a penny? Most of us don't even pay with them anymore. We hand the cashier a bill and take the change, and maybe that change gets thrown on the dresser or in a jar, and maybe every year or so you throw them in a change machine and replace them with bills again. While I would not want anyone to do away with pennies—everything rounded up to the next nickel could get expensive, and don't for a minute believe that a merchant is going to round down—I really don't find much use for them.
A favorite tactic of the atheist is to talk about the little blue dot, which is what they call Earth, a mere "penny" in the vastness of outer space.
"Our posturings, our imagined self-importance, the delusion that we have some privileged position in the Universe, are challenged by this point of pale light. Our planet is a lonely speck in the great enveloping cosmic dark. In our obscurity, in all this vastness, there is no hint that help will come from elsewhere to save us from ourselves.
“The significance of our lives and our fragile planet is then determined only by our own wisdom and courage. We are the custodians of life's meaning. We long for a Parent to care for us, to forgive us our errors, to save us from our childish mistakes. But knowledge is preferable to ignorance. Better by far to embrace the hard truth than a reassuring fable." Carl Sagan, A Pale Blue Dot: A Vision of the Human Future in Space.
The atheist believes that since this earth is such a tiny spot in this immense universe that we don't count for anything. How, he asks, can a Deity, if there is a one, even take notice of us when there is so much more out there? Really, he says, we need to grow up and stop believing myths.
I am here to tell you, that you may be just a penny on a pale blue dot, but God does care about you. He does know what is going on in your life, the sorrows, the pain, the misfortunes, and the joys as well. If you can tear yourself away from their fables long enough to examine the evidence around us and in the Word, you will see the proof of our importance to him in his constant dealings with man through the centuries, and the sacrifices he made to save us. Why would he have done that if he didn't care, if you didn't matter, if he had so much more on his mind than this pale blue dot?
The fact is the atheist cannot conceive of a God so much larger than himself, so much more compassionate, so much mightier and awesome. When all you rely on is your puny little human mind you are kind of stuck that way. Evidences and apologetics may never convince the skeptic, but you are not one of them or you wouldn't even be bothering with this tiny little blog in a huge cyberspace.
When you open your mind and your heart to a revealed Word, and a Savior who knows exactly what living on this pale blue dot is all about, you can accept the infinite possibilities a whole lot easier. And you can be sure that God looks at even his seemingly worthless pennies, and does so constantly. You matter to him.
Think about that the next time you pull out a pocketful of change.
For the eyes of the LORD run to and fro throughout the whole earth, to give strong support to those whose heart is blameless toward him. (2Chr 16:9)
“For his eyes are on the ways of a man, and he sees all his steps. (Job 34:21)
Behold, the eye of the LORD is on those who fear him, on those who hope in his steadfast love, (Ps 33:18)
The eyes of the LORD are toward the righteous and his ears toward their cry. When the righteous cry for help, the LORD hears and delivers them out of all their troubles. (Ps 34:15,17)
For a man's ways are before the eyes of the LORD, and he ponders all his paths. (Prov 5:21)
And no creature is hidden from his sight, but all are naked and exposed to the eyes of him to whom we must give account. (Heb 4:13)
For the eyes of the Lord are on the righteous, and his ears are open to their prayer. (1Pet 3:12)
Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God so that at the proper time he may exalt you, casting all your anxieties on him, because he cares for you. (1Pet 5:6-7)