For you created my inmost being;
you knit me together in my mother’s womb.
I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
your works are wonderful,
I know that full well.
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.
Your eyes saw my unformed body;
all the days ordained for me were written in your book
before one of them came to be.
How precious to me are your thoughts, God!
How vast is the sum of them!
Were I to count them,
they would outnumber the grains of sand--
when I awake, I am still with you.
Last week my life forever changed when I became a grandmother. Everyone told me how wonderful it would be, but until you experience it for yourself it is impossible to imagine the depth of joy that such a precious treasure from God brings into your life. Her name means Life - Evelyn and God's favor - Grace.
To witness the birth of your daughter’s first born is truly a miracle! To see God’s masterpiece emerge from a mother’s womb is to take in the wonder of our Creator in ways that are indescribable. The Scriptures come to life…created my inmost being…..knit together…..fearfully and wonderfully made....in the secret place....all the days ordained for me…
As I have prayed, rocked, sung, loved and gazed for hours on end at our precious little granddaughter my mind has continued to reflect on these verses from Psalm 139. When I turned to them in my Bible the words were underlined and in the margin I had written - "from the womb God's hand is on me."
David in this beautiful Psalm describes the intimacy that our Creator God had with us even before we were born. Even in the secret place where the intricacies of our human existence were woven together God understood all our thoughts and feelings...” how precious to me are your thoughts, God!”
“If we are marvelously wrought upon even before we are born, what shall we say of the Lord's dealings with us after we quit his secret workshop, and he directs our pathway through the pilgrimage of life? What shall we not say of that new birth which is even more mysterious than the first, and exhibits even more the love and wisdom of the Lord.
Cannot he who made us thus wondrously when we were not, still carry on his work of power till he has perfected us, though we feel unable to aid in the process, and are lying in great sorrow and self loathing, as though cast into the lowest parts of the earth?” Treasury of David
I have had lots of time to reflect on the wonders of God's creation during the last week as I rocked this precious little bundle of joy. I've thought about the theme of Masterpiece that was interwoven throughout our Restore retreats over the last 2 years. We all begin our lives woven together in the womb and formed in the mind and heart of Creator God. He has a unique vision and plan for us all, complete and whole in the love and transforming work of Christ as our Savior. Our role is to surrender to His work within us that He might complete the Masterpiece He designed.
God saved you by his grace when you believed. And you can’t take credit for this; it is a gift from God. Salvation is not a reward for the good things we have done, so none of us can boast about it. For we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago. Ephesians 2:8-10(NLT)
Such beautiful truth and yet, as I have ministered to men and women during my years of teaching the Word, I have found that few of us truly consider ourselves to be God’s masterpiece, if we are really honest. Often we have a difficult time embracing our uniqueness. We have become far removed from the innocence of childhood and find ourselves feeling lost or overwhelmed in the brokenness of our lives. Jesus wants to restore and redeem the brokenness, the wounds, the weariness of our souls. He wants us to find our wholeness, our completeness in Him.
Your uniqueness is the very thing that God gave you. It is what distinguishes you from others in the world. You were created for a specific purpose and no one else can fulfill it. As I have gazed at the intricacies of our little masterpiece of God's creation, I know that He has a specific purpose for her life. I believe that He will order her life in such a way as to draw her into that unique plan. It is the same for you and me.
The word found in the Ephesians Scripture above is often translated "we are God's workmanship". That word in Greek sometimes has the connotation of a “work of art.” And so I love the NLT translation that uses the word "masterpiece."
As I rocked and sang my sweet grand baby to sleep tonight I gazed on the wall of the nursery at this little canvas my daughter Maggie had painted for her nursery.
I wonder if you might use your imagination and try to picture yourself today as a "work of art" in the Father's eyes.
What does He see in the Masterpiece design for your life?
Perhaps in the uniqueness of your special design or his Masterpiece, Jesus envisions for you something like the beautiful work of a stained glass window - a mosaic of many different colors, like a personality with many different facets, yet when placed together and bound with the strength of metal it makes a work of great beauty. It is in the brokenness of the stained glass that the most beautiful light can be seen. These windows must be strong to resist rain and wind. They protect and when God’s light shines through they illuminate with beauty.
I grew up in a church with glorious stained glass windows that depicted the life of Christ. I learned much about story of Jesus studying them in church services.
Or maybe you are like a beautiful piece of pottery or sculpture. The Master Potter is molding, carving and reshaping you into His image. It involves pressure, even fire, like the kiln used to make this vessel, but it takes the fire to harden the vessel so that it be useful for service. The Lord must take away everything from the lump of clay or piece of stone that doesn’t look like what he has envisioned.
Are you in a fire of trial now?
Surrender to the hands of the Master Potter. Let Him mold you into His perfect design. He planned it long ago. He has a masterpiece in mind - a vessel of beauty and service. The Master Sculptor longs to transform you into His own image. He looks at you, His beloved child, and sees the beautiful work of art you will become. Little by little as we surrender to His loving hands we become His unique creation. He carves, molds and hammers us in love to reveal the beauty of Christ that lies deep within.
Or perhaps you are like a masterpiece painted on beautiful canvas. With carefully placed strokes, your life tells a story for those who are willing to stop and gaze and take in the beauty of His work of art. Often paintings display the beauty of Creation, or challenge us to ponder the wonder or power of God and his work in our lives. It takes great skill to prepare a work of beauty.
Perhaps you are this type Masterpiece. God wants your life to be like a great painting that tells the story of His love through His eyes.
Or maybe He is crafting your life like a great Masterpiece of music that makes hearts soar and want to sing His praise. You bring joy, harmony, passion and worship into our hearts. But the path to a great symphony involves tremendous discipline and skill. You must have ears that are in tune with His music. Only after careful study and sometimes suffering does the work of great beauty emerge. But the final outcome brings all the diversity of instruments together in unity for one great purpose, God’s glory.
Could it be that your life in His plan will touch the diversity of many lives, like instruments in an orchestra as you lead every heart to sing His song. Will you be an instrument on which He can play the beautiful music of grace?
Or perhaps you are more like a masterpiece of great literature. Your words challenge or inspire us to think, ponder and consider our life of faith. A life that speaks words of truth takes diligent study and prayer, for out of the overflow of the heart the mouth speaks. You must learn His words to bring hope to a desperate world. You must experience pain and His mercy so that your words of comfort come from the depths of your soul.
Could it be that in the masterpiece He is creating in your life, Jesus wants to minister His words of life through you? Mother Theresa said, "We are all pencils in the hand of a writing God, who is sending love letters to the world."
As I rock our precious gift from God, I wonder what Masterpiece the Father is designing for her life and pray that she will surrender her life to the Savior and the work of His hands.
God in His sovereignty and grace has something beautiful planned for your life….
"the good things He planned for us long ago."
My prayer for us all is that we would capture His vision for our lives, choose to surrender to His work within us and through us, and allow Jesus to restore and renew us into the creations of wonder, beauty and purpose that He designed us to be.
Won't you take a moment in prayer to Praise the Father for you are
"fearfully and wonderfully made."
In awe of our Creator God,
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