Monday, December 22, 2014

Fearfully and Wonderfully Made

Psalm 139:13-18
“13 For you formed my inward parts;
you knitted me together in my mother’s womb.
14 I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made.
Wonderful are your works;
my soul knows it very well.
15 My frame was not hidden from you,
when I was being made in secret,
intricately woven in the depths of the earth.
16 Your eyes saw my unformed substance;
in your book were written, every one of them,
the days that were formed for me,
when as yet there was none of them.

17 How precious to me are your thoughts, O God!
How vast is the sum of them!
18 If I would count them, they are more than the sand.
I awake, and I am still with you.”

My oldest son is taking AP Biology this year. He loves it. He has that kind of a brain that gets science and math and really, really enjoys learning it. I don’t have that kind of brain, but he does, and it’s been fun watching his eyes light up as he learns things and tries to share them with me. I say tries, because, honestly, lots of times I don’t actually understand all the intricacies of what he’s trying to explain, but sometimes I get just enough of the idea of it to be able to join in his excitement, and that’s pretty awesome.

For example, we had a true ‘awe’ moment the other day. As I’ve said here before, ‘awe’ is not a word to be used lightly, and I’m not using it lightly here. I’ll try, in my limited way, to explain, because it really was a moment of AWE for both of us.

My boy was struggling with a chapter on genetics and DNA and having a bit of a time truly grasping what he was studying, and feeling a little nervous because he had a big test coming up at the end of the week and he wanted to have a firmer grasp of the concept than he felt he had on the first several reads through the material. The light finally went on, though, and I saw it in his eyes when he brought his book downstairs and said something along the lines of, “I think I finally get this! I’m finally understanding it!” What he was studying about was the process of meiosis and reproduction. As he just explained to me when I asked while writing this, “It’s the process of splitting DNA - both parents producing half of their DNA to produce a brand new human being.” Those individual cells formed through meiosis in the mother and the father come together to form a whole new little person with his or her very own unique DNA combination. I’m NOT going to get all technical in this blog post, because, frankly, I can’t because the whole thing kind of blows my mind, but what we discussed that afternoon was how complex our DNA actually ends up being. My DNA comes from both sets of my parents, which comes from each of their parents, which had also been through this meiosis process for all the successive generations of parents upon parents, meaning my DNA isn’t JUST from my two parents, but a combination of everyone in my family history, and their histories, and their histories, and so on and so on. We know this, of course, being that we know about our family trees, and all, but thinking about the extreme complexity of the chromosome pairs that intertwine in each parent to create a whole new pair of chromosomes, meaning, well, it gets very complicated, but the process of combining all those sets of genes involves complex crossing over,even more complex than I can even try to hint at in this limited blog post, and I thought, “Wow. The Bible says we are knit together in our mother’s womb,” and I said that. My son said, “Yeah! The picture in the book looks a lot like knitting in a way.” 


I’ve always loved the poetry of that verse in Psalm 139, but, listening to this excited teenager trying to explain something, that, frankly, is so complicated I barely grasp the edges of it, made me realize, “It’s not JUST poetry.” God DOES, indeed, knit us together, and He knows exactly the combination of all that DNA that He wants to put together to make you the you that you are. He meant those pairs to combine exactly in the way they did to create you just as He did, just as He knit you together in your mother’s womb, He meant it just that way. You are fearfully and wonderfully made. And that is true for every human being. His thoughts are SO much higher than we can even comprehend. That was a WOW moment, and tears stung my eyes as I thought about how very intimately our Creator knows each and every one of us. He knits us together in our mothers’ wombs, just as He intends. 

And that Creator is right now upholding all that exists by the word of His power. He holds all things together. That Creator is our Savior and Redeemer. He is not the Deist’s god who spins up the world and stands far off and aloof from us. He is Immanuel, God With Us. He came to redeem His people and save us from our sin. Colossians 1:15-20, speaking of Jesus, says, “He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation. For by him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities - all things were created through him and for him. And he is before all things, and in him all things hold together. And he is the head of the body, the church. He is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, that in everything he might be preeminent. For in him all the fullness of God was pleased to dwell, and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether on earth or in heaven, making peace by the blood of his cross.”  This God, the only wise God, created man in His image, and is not a God afar off, but He has numbered the very days of our lives, He knows every single one of them. He is sovereign over every single molecule, down to our DNA and the very knitting together of it. 

I sat there thinking about how awesome this all is and how offensive the notion that we evolved by random chance truly is. We are fearfully and wonderfully made by Yahweh, the very God who spoke all of creation into existence. My son’s biology teacher and the authors of his book may have eyes blinded to that glorious truth and would probably roll their eyes at what I’m saying here, but I am so thankful for opened eyes to see and for the moment I had to rejoice with my son over our Creator who really has knit us together in just the way He intended us to be born, and who has demonstrated His great love to us in reconciling us to Himself, delivering those who repent and believe in Him from the domain of darkness and transferring us to the kingdom of His beloved Son, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins. Jesus is Lord! My son and I were brought to that remembrance once again that afternoon as we shared that moment of awe at the sheer and immense complexity of His Creation. 

No comments: