1999-07-22 - Before My Days
Ps 139:13-16 For Thou didst form my inward parts; Thou didst weave me in my mother's womb. 14 I will give thanks to Thee, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made; Wonderful are Thy works, and my soul knows it very well. 15 My frame was not hidden from Thee, when I was made in secret, and skillfully wrought in the depths of the earth. 16 Thine eyes have seen my unformed substance; and in Thy book they were all written, the days that were ordained for me when as yet there was not one of them. (NAS)
Children and God's heart toward children has been a huge portion of my thoughts during recent weeks. It started with a letter that simply mentioned children and has grown from there. Over the next few weeks, we will take a look at the topic of children and their place in the heart of their Creator.
Modern medicine has begun to delve deeply into the process of conception. For years it was the stuff of conjecture. Bells, coins and fruit were dangled from strings over the belly of the expectant mother to try to determine the age old question - is it a boy or girl? Today, more and more of us get our first baby pictures from a sonogram - a grainy black and white picture of sound waves bouncing off the baby in the womb. We hear the racing whoosh of the tiny heart months before the first breath is drawn.
God created the heavens with a single thought - a word and the stars were put in place, glittering in the night. Another word and oceans and continents were separated. But God formed Adam, the first man, from the dust of the ground. He took time and was personally, intimately involved. He created Eve from one of Adam's ribs. The Creator took time to knit the two from the same cloth and make them with the greatest of care.
If David had a Magnificat, this would be it. He fairly revels in the thoughts that surround a new life formed in secret. The awesome power of God is directed with deft and delicate accuracy to place each cell. We are permitted to participate in the process to a small degree. But the power to give life, to create a living soul, that is reserved to God. As the tiny building blocks, as we are fearfully and wonderfully made, are placed, the mother and father rejoice in the first movements of their expected child. Wonderful is obvious, but fearful? Here is one place where the awesome power of God is readily visible to mankind, if we will simply look. We look at the mechanical processes, we know the chemical timings and somehow reduce the process to an equation. What we miss is that we know that it works, and a lot of how it works. But the spark of life that is given to that tiny, forming person is something that we have the faintest glimpses of understand. For all our abilities and wisdom, we stand humbled in the event of conception that happens 100,000 times a day.
David presents one more powerful truth. Before our conception the number of our days is written in God's book. Before we draw our first breath, our last is specified. We have extended the average expected lifespan by decades in 200 years. We fail to recognize that this was not done outside of the providence of God. He permitted this too. There are people who live 100 years, upon whom the longsuffering patience of God is lost. They march into eternity stunned when they stand before the Holy God they have denied for so long. Then there are lives that are so brief they wrench our hearts. Those have more purpose and power to draw men and women to God than all but a few lives lived. In either case, God is sovereign and in control.
Lord Jesus - In something as common as conception, You have lesson for us. Even though it is common, David recognizes the wonder and power in the process of the creation of a new life. Help us to be a little more humble in our accomplishments. Open our eyes to the apparently simple things of this life that confound us. If we will see them for what they are, we will see Your love and might in them. Amen.
Grace & Peace,