Oh yes, you shaped me first inside, then out; you formed me in my mother’s womb. I thank you, High God—you’re breathtaking! Body and soul, I am marvelously made! I worship in adoration—what a creation! You know me inside and out, you know every bone in my body; you know exactly how I was made, bit by bit, how I was sculpted from nothing into something. Like an open book, you watched me grow from conception to birth; all the stages of my life were spread out before you, the days of my life all prepared before I’d even lived one day.Psalm 139:13-16, MSG
What a cause for celebration!
God formed me, shaped me, in the way He wanted me—specifically and uniquely me. And he has a plan in mind just for me. The God of the universe cared enough to bother to design teensy-tiny insignificant me.
What a cause for consternation!
There are some parts of my genetics I have issues with. Bunions, for instance (thanks, Mom). And a predisposition for hemorrhoids, DBD (Dutch behind disease), and a bum hip. Let’s not forget the inner me, with a tendency toward depression, anxiety, and chattiness. Believe me—you can see the DNA throughout the generations. What’s up with that, God?
I don’t know about you, but this hasn’t been a rhetorical question in my life. I’ve asked it at times with a lot less humor than displayed in the paragraph above. What about the things I don’t like about myself? And the things I have to struggle daily to overcome? And the things I wrestle with in the middle of the night instead of sleeping? What about children born with physical and mental disabilities, autistic savants, people with sickle cell anemia? How about homosexuality? The list is long—full of ways of being that are suspected or proven to be genetic in nature.
Because I am born into this world, with this DNA, with disabilities or “thorns in my flesh,” does that mean that is how God designed me?
Woken from a disturbing dream in the middle of the night, I was running circles around this question in my mind when it was suddenly clear to me: God made the perfect plan for me, just as he made the perfect plan for our world and for Adam and Eve. But they (and we) made the imperfect choice, and sin entered the world. So the minute God’s plans come into this imperfect world, they are affected by sin—an imperfect sperm, an imperfect egg, formation and growth in an imperfect uterus, affected by choices, illness, imperfect DNA. Therefore, I am an imperfect version of God’s plan.
God designed the perfect me. For now, I am the sinful me in both body and soul. I will be that way the whole time I am on this earth. But God planned for that, too. His son’s death and resurrection, the defeat of sin, means that I can realize His perfect plan when I die and am invited to spend eternity with Him. This is where it is important to understand the Will of God that we explored together in September: It’s God’s Will and God’s Will in Life and Death.
On your feet now—applaud God! Bring a gift of laughter, sing yourselves into his presence.Psalm 100, MSG
Know this: God is God, and God, God. He made us; we didn’t make him. We’re his people, his well-tended sheep.
Enter with the password: “Thank you!”
Make yourselves at home, talking praise. Thank him. Worship him.
For God is sheer beauty, all-generous in love, loyal always and ever.
Pray with me: I praise you Lord for designing me and then inviting me into your Circle of Love even though I am flawed with sin. Thank you for your grace and salvation. Amen