This morning my “Upper Room” daily devotional verse was Psalm 139:14a: “I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made….”
Immediately, of course, I thought about our almost ready to be born granddaughter, Rebekah Mae, and another phrase in the Psalm came to mind: “My frame was not hidden from you when I was made in the secret place, when I was woven together in the depths of the earth.”
And then, immediately following: “Your eyes saw my unformed body; all the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be…”
So I read the entire Psalm. Psalm 139 is a beautiful commentary on God’s relationship to humankind and (with the exception of verses 19-22, when the writer breaks from his subject matter to demand blood-thirsty revenge on his enemies) stands as one of my favorite expositions on the nature of God (verses 19-22 are a telling commentary on the nature of David!).
EXPECTING: When Rebekah and I were expecting Andrew, our first child, we read every book we could find about babies, and especially what happens during the nine months before they are born. My favorite was Lennart Nilsson’s classic pictorial, A Child is Born. Just about every week I’d turn to a page and tell Rebekah, “Here’s what the baby looks like right now!’ And then we’d simply gasp in wonder at the intricacy, the complexity, the miracle of it all.
Over time, the process of reflecting on the experience of two pregnancies, and now watching our second grandchild preparing to make her debut, has left a number of lasting impressions.
- First, understanding what we do about what happens between conception and birth, I am beyond amazed at the miracle of life. The more of science I am exposed to, and the more I understand, the more clearly the reality of God speaks to me in and through the process.
- Then, complex and amazing as it may appear, the mystery of pre-natal development has nothing on the mystery of post-natal reality! The moment we, as parents, assume responsibility for the care and nurture of this amazing gift of life, we begin a life-long process of learning that is startling and overwhelming.
- Third, given the fact of 1 & 2, above, I am completely convinced that the responsibility of raising children must be engaged in the context of both faith in God and the encouragement and nurture of an extended faith community.
Our new granddaughter, Rebekah Mae, is “fearfully and wonderfully made.” Understanding that fact makes it even more critically important that she know and experience God’s formational and transformational love in every possible way. I’m so thankful that her parents, Naomi and Craig, know God and seek to follow God’s ways.
In the great scheme of things, as I consider our grandchildren’s continued growth and formation in the post-natal world, there’s nothing that comes close to the Gospel of Love when it comes to wanting the very best for David and for Rebekah Mae.
In love, and because of love – Grandaddy DEREK
You have searched me, Lord,
and you know me.
2 You know when I sit and when I rise;
you perceive my thoughts from afar.
3 You discern my going out and my lying down;
you are familiar with all my ways.
4 Before a word is on my tongue
you, Lord, know it completely.
5 You hem me in behind and before,
and you lay your hand upon me.
6 Such knowledge is too wonderful for me,
too lofty for me to attain.
7 Where can I go from your Spirit?
Where can I flee from your presence?
8 If I go up to the heavens, you are there;
if I make my bed in the depths, you are there.
9 If I rise on the wings of the dawn,
if I settle on the far side of the sea,
10 even there your hand will guide me,
your right hand will hold me fast.
11 If I say, “Surely the darkness will hide me
and the light become night around me,”
12 even the darkness will not be dark to you;
the night will shine like the day,
for darkness is as light to you.
13 For you created my inmost being;
you knit me together in my mother’s womb.
14 I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
your works are wonderful,
I know that full well.
15 My frame was not hidden from you
when I was made in the secret place,
when I was woven together in the depths of the earth.
16 Your eyes saw my unformed body;
all the days ordained for me were written in your book
before one of them came to be.
17 How precious to me are your thoughts, God!
How vast is the sum of them!
18 Were I to count them,
they would outnumber the grains of sand—
when I awake, I am still with you
If only you, God, would slay the wicked!
Away from me, you who are bloodthirsty!
20 They speak of you with evil intent;
your adversaries misuse your name.
21 Do I not hate those who hate you, Lord,
and abhor those who are in rebellion against you?
22 I have nothing but hatred for them;
I count them my enemies.
23 Search me, God, and know my heart;
test me and know my anxious thoughts.
24 See if there is any offensive way in me,
and lead me in the way everlasting.
Derek has published seven books in the past decade (you can find them at https://www.amazon.com/Derek-Maul/e/B001JS9WC4), and there’s always something new in the works.
Before becoming a full-time writer, Derek taught public school in Florida for eighteen years, including cutting-edge work with autistic children. He holds bachelor’s degrees in psychology and education from Stetson University and the University of West Florida.
Derek is active in teaching at his church: adult Sunday school, and a men’s Bible study/spiritual formation group. He enjoys the outdoors, traveling, photography, reading, cooking, playing guitar, and golf.