Art and Prayer,  Praying Scripture

Marvelously Made

You made all the delicate, inner parts of my body
    and knit me together in my mother’s womb.
Thank you for making me so wonderfully complex!
    Your workmanship is marvelous—how well I know it.
You watched me as I was being formed in utter seclusion,
    as I was woven together in the dark of the womb.
You saw me before I was born.
    Every day of my life was recorded in your book.
Every moment was laid out
    before a single day had passed. Psalm 139:13-16

Fifty-four years ago this past week my sister Megan Ariel was born. Megan has lived in heaven for all but six weeks of these fifty-four years, because of a heart defect she was born with. She was a sweet baby, and I think of her often. On Megan’s 50th birthday, my siblings and I each wrote reflections about Megan and how her short life has had a profound and lasting impact on each of us, even my youngest brother, who was born after Megan.

Often when I think of Megan, these verses from Psalm 139 come to mind. Just as he has for each of us, God made all her delicate, inner parts. I don’t understand the mystery of why God allows babies to be born with heart or other physical defects, but I know my beautiful sister was knit together by God’s marvelous workmanship, despite the heart defect.

How about us? We may have hearts that have beaten strongly for decades, but we all, like Megan, bear the marks of living in a broken and sinful world. Our brokenness may be some form of physical weakness or may be mental or emotional scars from our own bad choices or from other people’s sin against us or from the inescapable difficulties of this world, but no brokenness or sin, whatever the source, can erase the truth that each one of us has been lovingly knit together by God’s marvelous workmanship. Let’s ponder these words from Psalm 139 this week, reflecting on God’s love expressed in how he has formed us and given us life.

Monday: Think about your inner being and the various systems of your body, and thank God for the many ways your mind and body function well, despite whatever challenges you may face.

Tuesday: Ponder the wonder that God forms a life within the womb of a woman, and thank him that he gave you life through your mother. When I stop to really think about that I am filled with awe!

Wednesday:  Look at your hands, your feet, your eyes, your whole body, and allow yourself to be filled with wonder at the complexity of your body. Thank God for his marvelous workmanship in creating you!

Thursday: Meditate on the idea that God was watching as you were being formed, when even your mother couldn’t see you. Do you ever feel like you are in the dark and unseen? Thank God that if he could see you before you were born, he surely sees you now, no matter where you are or how you feel.

Friday: All our days are known to God, before they happen, before we know what a day will bring. Nothing we do or that happens to us is a surprise to God. Talk with God today about your past days and your days to come.

Saturday: Praise God for the way his love and wisdom and creativity have formed you and given you life. Ask him to help you live with gratitude and trust in his ongoing work in your life.

Megan Ariel

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