Monday, September 14, 2015

Fearfully and Wonderfully Made

Psalm 139 contains the phrase “fearfully and wonderfully made” – at least that’s the wording of the New International Version.  The Message reads “Body and soul, I am marvellously made!” The New Living Translation has it as “wonderfully complex”.

As I look in the mirror “fearfully and wonderfully made” isn’t my first reaction. There are some people who seem to have the right combination of genes that produce a beautiful face and an hour glass figure. I am not one of them.  I clean up nicely for weddings and funerals but the day to day me is rather blemished.

But that is OK. 

I know that when God says I am fearfully and wonderfully made He is not thinking about Fibonacci’s golden ratio.  He looks at my heart, and my soul, my strength and my mind – all those things He commands me to love Him with.  That’s the bit that is marvellous.

We were sharing favourite words and phrases from Psalm 139 with friends.  I talked about tattoos.  A while ago, I thought about getting a tattoo.  It wasn’t a serious thought.  I will die tattoo-less.  What might look good when the skin is young and elastic probably doesn’t look so good when things begin to sag.  And then there are the needles.  Need I say more?

The tattoo that I won’t ever get will not be pretty patterns around my arm, or a mural on my back, or love engraved onto my knuckles or “Joseph Forever” in honour of my husband.  I would opt for “Fearfully and wonderfully made” written somewhere. That will be the tattoo I will never get.

I looked across the table and said to one of my friends, “You are wonderfully and fearfully made.”

He looked back at me and replied, “No, I’m not!”

If it was all about that mental checklist that the world insists we use when defining something wonderful or marvellous then many of us miss the mark.  We strive to meet the criteria.  My friend didn’t come close to ticking many of the boxes. 

More than that, his life hadn't landed him in a good place.  His world was often one of thistles and stinging nettles. That man in the parable of the Good Samaritan that was beaten up at the start of the story - that's him.  Or the seed that fell among the thorns in the parable of the Sower - that's him. 

Life in all its facets tells him, “You are not wonderfully and fearfully made.”

The part of town he lives in tells him, “You are not wonderfully and fearfully made.”

The government that writes the rules tells him, “You are not wonderfully and fearfully made.”

People, the pretty people, the successful people, people with big cars and fat wallets, tell him, “You are not wonderfully and fearfully made.”

And the enemy sneers and says, “You?  Wonderfully and fearfully made? Really? You? I don’t think so.”

But when God says a thing it matters not what life says, or the government, or the pretty people or the enemy.  When God say you are wonderfully and fearfully made He means it.  And when you take Him at His word and believe His word…your heart, your soul, your strength and your mind are transformed.

And then you begin to live it.

1 comment:

Christine Davies said...

Lovely words Mel for a lot of people they do not see the real person behind the face. It is a gift to see the inner beauty that people possess, I was always told I think to deeply but I'm with you on this, I shall look for the inner beauty that people possess.