STAMP OF APPROVAL

What sorrow awaits those who argue with their Creator. Does a clay pot argue with its maker? Does the clay dispute with the one who shapes it, saying, “Stop, you’re doing it wrong!” Does the pot exclaim, “How clumsy can you be?” How terrible it would be if a newborn baby said to its father, “Why was I born?” or if it said to its mother, “Why did you make me this way?” [Isaiah 45:9-12 (NLT)]

feet -ints 2awebWriting about my granddaughter yesterday made me think about birth defects. In actuality, all of us have what could be called birth defects—it’s just that some are more obvious than others. While all of God’s children have defects, none are defective. I consider a young man at our Florida church. Cerebral palsy keeps him strapped into a wheel chair and his physical limitations are immense. There is, however, nothing defective about this bright young man. I ponder the enthusiastic grocery worker with Down’s syndrome. She may have an extra chromosome, but there is nothing defective about her. I think of a fellow at church who has no ears. He may be deaf but there is nothing defective about him, nor is there anything defective about a friend’s grand born with only a partial arm and hand or my grand, with her heart defects and learning issues. They are all marvelously made—different from others, but no less wonderful.

Have you ever given any thought to how you were made? From biology 101, we know that a sperm and an egg met. That egg, however, was one of about 1 million your mom had at birth, one of some 300,000 she had at puberty, and one of the 300 to 400 eggs that she’d ever ovulate. So on your mom’s side, you were one in a million. As to that tiny sperm that won the race to the egg—there were about 150 million (or more) other sperm that could have fertilized it if they’d been stronger swimmers. If your conception had occurred in another month, it would have been a totally different egg and another one of 150 million or more sperm and you wouldn’t be you—you’d be someone entirely different! Apparently, the odds of you existing as you are about one in 400 trillion…and I don’t think that takes in the probability of your parents ever meeting let alone loving one another enough to make a baby! There is nothing haphazard about the way we got put together. We are, indeed, marvelously made.

I had a friend who called her son “Oops!” because he wasn’t planned. My mother-in-law responded that in her day, before effective birth control, most babies were “Oops!” While pregnancies may not be planned, there is nothing accidental about the way we are made. When I was little, I asked my mother why I had a belly button. She told me that babies were assembled in heaven and, as they moved along the assembly line, God inspected them before sending them to their earthly mothers. After carefully looking over each baby, He gave a poke to its tummy and said “You’re perfect!” Our belly buttons were His stamp of approval. Her explanation, while neither biologically nor theologically correct, reminds me that God makes no mistakes—there are no “oops!” on His heavenly assembly line.

You made all the delicate, inner parts of my body and knit me together in my mother’s womb. Thank you for making me so wonderfully complex! Your workmanship is marvelous—how well I know it. You watched me as I was being formed in utter seclusion, as I was woven together in the dark of the womb. You saw me before I was born. Every day of my life was recorded in your book. Every moment was laid out before a single day had passed. [Psalm 139:13-16 (NLT)]

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