[This article first appeared as a guest post at Aimee Byrd’s Housewife Theologian.]
My wife and I seem to have a ministry of sorts with young families. Actually, it’s her ministry and I’m the helpmeet. She’ll hear that a friend has a need, ask me if I’m willing to go along as she helps out, I say yes, and then we go. Among other reasons I go along is that I figure it’s one way for us to spend time together in ministry. Plus, it’s not really outside my comfort zone; I was a nursery volunteer even before I met my wife. So off we go to babysit, or help with housework, or just spend time with a mom (or mom and kids, or mom and dad and kids) who have been housebound for too long.
The other day we were walking with one of those families. They were pushing their two children in a stroller and told us about the first ultra-sound they just had of the new baby on the way. They went to a large research hospital in our area and were directed to a room where the newest, most sensitive ultra-sound machine was located. They’d had ultra-sounds with their other children and thought they knew what to expect, but this machine was so sensitive that they were seeing things that became visible only at much later stages with their first two. One big treat was seeing the baby’s heart, which not only showed itself beating (as they’d seen before) but now they could even see the blood moving from one chamber to another.
The mom told us she couldn’t help but think of Psalm 139: 13-16 –
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.
She said she got to thinking about how God has always been able to see us clearly, more clearly than any ultra-sound, no matter how small we are in our mothers’ wombs. And this took me to a new place of thinking: God not only sees us in our entirety no matter how small or hidden away that entirety is, he also sees the tiniest parts that make up that entirety, even the tiniest of tiny parts.
This ultra-ultra-ultra-sound machine can not only see a baby inside the womb but also the heart that is inside the baby inside the womb, and on top of all that it can see the blood that is inside the heart that is inside the baby that is inside the womb and do so with amazing clarity.
God sees deeper than that. He sees the cells that make up my body, and the components of those cells, and the molecules that make up those components, and the atoms that make up those molecules, and the protons and neutrons and electrons and whatever other subatomic particles are in me. Not only does he see them, but he sees them more clearly than we can imagine. There is nowhere that is out of focus to him, nothing hidden away from his sight. He is the creator of the universe and every single thing in it. (Isaiah 42:5.) Every single thing.
Jesus assured his disciples that God knows each hair on their heads (Luke 12:7), but I wonder if Jesus had chosen a modern-day incarnation whether he would have assured them it’s their cells that are numbered. We can’t say, since he walked with his disciples long ago, but I will say with full assurance that God knows me with sub-atomic clarity, better than any ultra-sound machine could ever see. For that I’m grateful, and I want to join Paul’s praise in Ephesians 3:20-21:
Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen.
Who else would I rather have know me so well?
I see clearly that the only answer is God himself, the one who loves me, who knows me so well, and who desires to always do what’s best for me.