“The Lord called me from the womb, from the body of my mother he named my name. He made my mouth like a sharp sword; in the shadow of his hand he hid me; he made me a polished arrow; in his quiver he hid me away. And he said to me, ‘You are my servant, Israel, in whom I will be glorified.’ He… formed me from the womb to be his servant;.. I am honored in the eyes of the Lord, and my God has become my strength. Thus says the Lord:
‘In a time of favor I have answered you; in a day of salvation I have helped you; I will keep you… Can a woman forget her nursing child, that she should have no compassion on the son of her womb? Even these may forget, yet I will not forget you. Behold, I have engraved you on the palms of my hands.'” Isaiah 49:1-3,5,8,15-16
Can we read this beautiful passage and not be overwhelmed at the magnificent love and generous providence of Mighty God in our individual lives? His intimate knowledge of us, affection for us, and specific involvement in our every minute? In the womb He forms every precious life with shape and substance and mouth and senses to know and serve Him and His purposes in this world, to glorify Him and enjoy Him forever. Each new life is a masterpiece, God’s handiwork in His image for His sovereign plan in time and history. He Who carved us in His hands on Calvary named us in eternity past, crafts us according to His perfect knowledge and will, and bears us up to keep us in those loving hands all our days.
As students we want to know what to study, as parents or teachers how to plan, how to train and advise our children. As adults we wrangle to know what are next steps, what our talents are and how to exercise them, where to work, where to live. And all the while, our Maker has designed us uniquely, planted in us a will to live, and called us by name with a high, divine calling that transcends these earthly concerns, and that He enables us to live out in His strength, with His help, for His honor.
“You formed my inward parts; you knitted me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works; my soul knows it very well. My frame was not hidden from you, when I was being made in secret, intricately woven in the depths of the earth. 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.” Psalm 139:13-16
Father Almighty, You Who have known me from before I was conceived are intricately involved in every breath I take. May I breathe You, in and out, for the blessing of other lives, for Your glorious and eternal purposes, and always for Your praise.