‘I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made . . .’

A few days ago, as I was cleaning the guest house, I found myself holding a number of items in my hands: a cup and saucer in one hand; a fresh toilet roll tucked under my arm; a couple of clean pillow cases for one of the rooms we were turning over slung over my shoulder; and a couple of miniature bottles of shampoo and body wash in the other hand. As I started to climb up the stairs to the first floor of the house, it occurred to me that our hands are really very useful vehicles indeed. They perform so many functions and, without them, most of us would be at a loss to cope with all the myriad tasks we use our hands to accomplish without any real thought.

This notion started me thinking about how we are made, and Psalm 139:14 popped into my mind. ‘I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made’. When one thinks about it, are we all not ‘wonderfully made’ indeed? Despite our mortality, we are, after all, capable of rational thought, deep emotion and accomplishing complex tasks.

Psalm 139: 13-16

13 For you created my inmost being;
you knit me together in my mother’s womb.
14 I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
your works are wonderful,
I know that full well.
15 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.
16 Your eyes saw my unformed body;
all the days ordained for me were written in your book
before one of them came to be.

New International Version (NIV)

I have been reading the Bible since the age of 8, when I received my first complete Bible from my mother as a reward for coming 1st in class. (During my time in Singapore, where I studied, pupils took exams from the age of 7 in Primary 1. There were 44 girls in my class, and pupils are graded not just against their classmates, but also against their year group. That year, when I was in Primary 2, I came 1st in my class, and 3rd overall out of three Primary 2 classes – 132 girls in total.)

Coming 1st in class was nothing to boast about particularly. It was simply a fact of life. The joy I had of coming 1st in class and 3rd overall came in telling my Mum what I had achieved. It was not something that was shared beyond the immediate family, although classmates would always know who had come 1st because the teachers always read out the results, starting from the 1st to the 44th in class throughout my school career. And I can tell you that I was not always near the top of the class.

Anyhow, in this instance, Mum asked me what I wanted as a present to celebrate my first 1st. I asked for a Bible because I already had a child’s pictorial Bible and wanted a ‘real’ Bible i.e. one with all the books of the Old and New Testaments. Since then, I began to read the Bible – not always regularly, and sometimes not at all when I was rebellious or lazy. But the Lord always drew me back to Him, for which I am profoundly thankful.

However, to cut a long story short, what caught my attention when I came to think about Psalm 139:14 was how sometimes mundane things and doings can suddenly encapsulate biblical truths in the Christian’s mind. I have been thinking of this particular lesson over the past week now, and every time I climb up the stairs with my hands full of things, I look at them and think ‘how great Thou art’! What an awesome God we worship!

I’d just like to end this post with a chorus we sang as children in school.

Isn’t He Wonderful, Isn’t He Marvellous
Isn’t Jesus my Lord Wonderful!
Eyes have seen, ears have heard
It’s recorded in God’s Word
Isn’t Jesus my Lord Wonderful!

A Winter scene quite out of sync with our current warm May weather in Bowness-on-Windermere. I chose this photo of Windermere as seen from Brantfell viewpoint which is 40 minutes’ walk from the access gate a minute’s stroll from our guest house, because the mountains, fells, water, and sunshine reflected on the snow makes me think of God’s creative genius and how we are all part of His creation. (Photo courtesy of www.cumbriaphoto.co.uk.)

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