I was scrolling through old photos with my youngest and we came across this ultrasound picture when he was between 20 – 30 weeks gestation. I was suddenly struck with the fact that at this point, he was already sucking the two middle fingers that he still sucks today. Much of the world would not consider him a human being at this point, but he was enough of a human being to make a decision that still defines him today.
What a powerful picture to show him the value of life growing inside a womb – a life that is already being designed by his Creator, with features, personality, and yes, even the fingers he will choose to suck on for comfort. As Psalm 139:13-16 says,
“For you formed my inward parts;
you knitted me together in my mother’s womb.
I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made.
Wonderful are your works;
my soul knows it very well.
My frame was not hidden from you,
when I was being made in secret,
intricately woven in the depths of the earth.
Your eyes saw my unformed substance;
in your book were written, every one of them,
the days that were formed for me,
when as yet there was none of them.”
This Mother’s Day, I’m not just reminded of the gift of motherhood, but the truth that God designed each of us for his purposes long before we took our first breath. Life is sacred because of whose hands have made and fashioned us for his glory.
For some of us, Mother’s Day sparks feelings of loss over the children we’ve lost, longed for, or given birth to with challenges and heartache that grieve our hearts. For many, we feel like we don’t deserve to be celebrated as we look at all the ways we’ve fallen short to love and care for our children in the way we desire to. But Mother’s Day really isn’t about us. It’s about the God who is the author of life, both physically and spiritually. Though he gives many of us the privilege of bringing new life into this world and raising that life for the time he has allotted, motherhood (and the children he has given) is not what defines us or fills us. It is a privilege that none of us deserve, a job that none of us are cut out for in our own strength, and a future that none of us can determine or control the outcome of. If motherhood has taught me anything, it’s that it’s only by God’s grace that he gives any of us the privilege of raising another human being.
So today we can celebrate the beauty of motherhood, not because moms are to be glorified above anyone else, but because it is a day that celebrates the miracle of life. Every breath we are given is a gift from the one who has formed us, created our inmost being, and knit us together for his purposes and glory. Whether we have children of our own or not, we have been created for such a time as this – to be imperfect participants in God’s miraculous work of life and growth, bringing order out of chaos, and breathing hope into what seems hopeless through living out the gospel. Every life is worth celebrating today – not because of who we are or what we have done – but because of who God is and what he has done on our behalf. n our behalf.
Happy Mother’s Day,