surrounded by clouds

On being number 79,523,666,535.

According to the BBC, the world’s population is due to reach 7 billion in the next few weeks. In honour of that they’ve created a little counter that will, once you have entered your date of birth, tell you what the population was when you were born and how many people had lived before you.

Their calculator informs me that when I was born I was the 4,756,917,302nd person alive on earth, and the 79,523,666,535th person to have lived since history began. If you want more information on how they came to the decisions they did about those numbers go check out the website for that and more interesting population-type info.

79,523,666,535 is a very big number. Who knows how accurate it really is, but nevertheless, it gives a little pause for thought, especially for one as self-involved as yours truly.

79,523,666,534 people came before me, 2.2 billion and counting have come after me. That’s an awful lot of people, of whom I am but one; here today but soon gone and just another 1 in the ever-increasing number.

Puts a whole new spin on 1 Peter 1:24:

“All flesh is like grass
and all its glory like the flower of grass.
The grass withers,
and the flower falls,”

Newcastle CU have had some sad news over the last few days, and I am feeling the frailty of life a little closer than usual. Death seems quite distant from normal life here most of the time, but the reality is that we live in a fallen world, where sickness and sorrow and death and decay are never far away, and this week that has been brought home quite suddenly.

And yet, in the midst of that, holding onto promises that give us joy and hope.

A young woman who loved Jesus has gone to be with him. I’m sad for her friends and family who have been left behind, but we do rejoice that she is at home, in the arms of her Saviour.

When the perishable puts on the imperishable, and the mortal puts on immortality, then shall come to pass the saying that is written:

   “Death is swallowed up in victory.” 
 “O death, where is your victory? 
   O death, where is your sting?”

  The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law. But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.

1 Corinthians 15:54-56

Flesh withers like the grass, but the word of the Lord stands forever. His word promises life, and that’s where Lizzie found her hope.

To the world she and you and I are just one in 80 billion, but God knows us each, individually and intimately. He knit us together, he knows the number of hairs on our heads, and he sent his one and only Son to die in our place, that we might called his children.

In summary: Hallelujah, what a Saviour.

This entry was published on October 28, 2011 at 8:35 am. It’s filed under God and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink. Follow any comments here with the RSS feed for this post.

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