What if we should discover that something which is rare and valuable on earth is abundant in space?
Sound ridiculous? Actually, there are numerous such elements. Consider hydrogen. Hydrogen is the tenth most abundant element on earth—1,400 parts per million (ppm), making it four times rarer than titanium (5,560 ppm). Yet, throughout the universe hydrogen makes up 74% of all matter. Helium is the 22nd rarest element on the planet, occurring in the earth’s crust at only 0.008 ppm. This makes helium far more rare than silver (0.075 ppm). Yet in the rest of the universe, helium is the second most abundant element (24% of matter), behind hydrogen.
Some things, on the other hand, though rare on earth, are very abundant in our own bodies. Carbon, for instance, is the 17th most abundant element on the planet—only 200 ppm, making it rarer than barium, manganese, and phosphorus. Even our atmosphere, despite all our concerns, has only trace elements of carbon (as carbon dioxide—391 ppm or less than one half of one percent of earth’s atmosphere). Yet it is the second most abundant element in our bodies, second only to oxygen.
And speaking of carbon, would you believe that the rarest and hardest form of carbon—diamond—is incredibly abundant at other locations in our universe. It’s true. A few years ago, astronomers discovered a dead white dwarf star whose core was nothing but crystallized carbon. That’s right. This star had a diamond at its core the size of Planet Earth. Unfortunately, the huge diamond is located 900 light years away.
But it reminds me of something in the Bible. There are things so rare in this life which will be commonplace in the life to come. Gold (0.004 ppm), for instance is rarer than platinum (0.005 ppm). Yet, we read in Revelation 21:10–21 that gold will be so commonplace in heaven that the New Jerusalem will be constructed with the stuff. In fact, all kinds of precious stones and giant pearls will be used for its walls and gates.
Maybe we should take Jesus’ words to heart, when he told us that it profits us nothing if we gain the whole world and lose our own soul (Matt. 16:26). This world is poverty-stricken compared to other places in our universe, especially compared to heaven. Citizenship in heaven means unspeakable wealth as well as joy and peace with eternal life. Therefore, do not love this world or the things in the world (1 John 2:15–17). Never exchange service to Christ for this world’s material gain. Set your affections on things above where Christ reigns, seated at the Father’s right hand (Col. 3:1-5). If we suffer with Christ in this life, we will be glorified with Him in the next (Rom. 8:17).
Dear Father in heaven, please bring me to my senses and help me to see the wisdom of sacrificing in this life to be glorified with Jesus in the life to come. Help me to store up treasure in heaven by spending myself and all my resources for the cause of Jesus Christ. Amen.