Years ago on a certain May 9th, a young German American couple welcomed their second child, a daughter, into the world. The baby was a footling breech, meaning she was born foot-first—something which would warrant a C-section delivery these days.
I’m thankful the birth turned out fine. I was that infant.
Birthdays are a good time to reflect on the goodness of God. Mother’s Day is a good time to thank Him for our own birth and life, the gift of our mothers, and for our children (if we have been so blessed).
My double dose of reflection and thanksgiving has been further underscored by a visit with my newest-born grandchild this week (Callum is number six).
Life is an incredible gift, not to be taken for granted.
I read a Psalm this morning, as is my habit, and today’s just so happened to contain this passage:
“Lord, make me aware of my end and the number of my days, so that I will know how short-lived I am. In fact, you have made my days just inches long, and my life span is as nothing to you. Yes, every human being stands as only a vapor. Selah” – Psalm 39:4-5.
How’s that for a sweet, comforting, happy-birthday kind of verse?
Oddly, I’m grateful for the reminder that life is fragile. That it’s so very short, especially in light of forever. That God dwells outside of time, in eternity.
This grateful meditation has everything to do with the life-affirming mission.
We value human life because God does.
Think of it: God is omnipotent, omnipresent and omniscient. He is so great that our finite human minds have a hard time grasping His power and His goodness.
The Bible distills the nature and character of God down to one word:
“The one who does not love does not know God, because God is love.” – 1 John 4:8
God is love.
It’s not just that He’s loving: It’s that He is love.
Have you ever wondered what motivated God to create human beings in the first place? After all, He is one Being with three Persons (Father, Son and Holy Spirit). He communes within Himself, and He also has angels who attend Him and worship Him. God has never been needy or lonely.
So why did He make us?
God is love. He wanted to share His love with a special creature who is uniquely like Him—a creature who could love Him in return.
Of course, once sin entered the world, our fellowship with Him was broken.
Despite this, God devised a plan from the beginning to rescue us and restore our relationship with Him. God the Son, Jesus, was a willing volunteer to make that plan happen.
Because of the gospel, we can now have fellowship with God again, and those who receive the gift of salvation by faith in Christ will see God face to face one day (I Corinthians 13:12).
Many of us have experienced the joy and privilege of introducing our clients to the gospel. What a double blessing it is when young parents choose not only life for their baby, but eternal life for their family.
Such stories are on my list of thanksgiving to God as I ponder the shortness of my days.
In considering Psalm 39 (above), notice the writer puts a break—a “selah”—before continuing his thoughts.
“Selah” is one of those difficult-to translate Hebrew words, but scholars believe it means something akin to “pause and think about that.
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Here is a significant “selah” to ponder:
God is love. He cares for His whole creation, but He is particularly mindful of mankind (Psalm 8:3-5). He created human beings because of love, and He knows us before we are even conceived.
“Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, and before you were born I consecrated you…” – Jeremiah 1:5
Put that all together, and you realize God’s attitude toward each one of His image-bearers is this: “Before you existed within the confines of time, I already loved you.”
This is God’s heart toward every preborn person we work to rescue. It’s His attitude toward every one of our clients. It’s how He feels about you, too.
It’s His heart toward that little footling breech—me—and toward my mother and toward my sweet, newborn grandson. Toward my whole family. Toward this entire nation.
Toward all of humanity.
We are so very fragile. We are a vapor that drifts away with the morning sun. We are a withering flower quickly fading (1 Peter 1:24).
Yet God loves us so much He made a way for us to spend eternity with Him. He values each image-bearer, and He abhors the premature ending of their lives.
The brevity of human life points out our smallness and limitations—but it doesn’t mean human life is insignificant. Quite the contrary.
We are made in God’s image, with eternity set in our hearts (Eccl. 3:11). We value human lives because God values them. We especially work to protect the lives of the vulnerable unborn.
If my life is only inches long, shouldn’t they get more than a centimeter?
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