Wednesday, July 26, 2017
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. How precious are your thoughts about me, O God. They cannot be numbered! I can’t even count them; they outnumber the grains of sand! And when I wake up, you are still with me! Psalm 139:13-18(NLT)
We wandered, my bride and I, into the sandwich shop unknowing we were going to be running smack into a Subway sermon! We went through the process of ordering. Elizabeth chose her sandwich, low calorie, low fat, healthy stuff (naturally), and the preacher opted for his normal stuff too…stuff as much stuff as possible on that big ol’ hunk of bread! While the server used a backhoe to load up my sandwich, I slipped over to the drink cooler to grab a Diet Coke™ to go with my diet sandwich.
And there it was!! Or rather, there was RUSSELL!
I couldn’t believe the Subway people knew I would be there that day, and were nice enough to put my monogrammed Diet Russell Coke right up front!
Wow, what service!
Now, I’m not certain the Subway folks had really planned for my visit, making that one bottle with “Russell” on it because they knew I’d be there. It was one of perhaps a thousand bottles of Diet Coke I’ve had, and have never seen a Russell bottle!
But the coincidence of finding your name staring back at you is kind of cool, and really interesting, as it reminded me of the Psalmist’s awe when he recalled just how intimately God had known him from before he was a gleam in his earthly father’s eye.
This leads me quite naturally to the whole idea of what many call a fetus. Now, I know that’s the technical name for the little person being formed in the womb of a woman; I prefer, however, to call that little person a baby.
And that Diet Coke bottle is a little example of contrast as to why a fetus is a baby to me. In the manufacturing buildings of Coca Cola, some marketing genius thought it would be a good idea to put names on the bottles. Great strategy, that…people love to be recognized…even if it’s only an impersonal printed label with their name. They put thousands, perhaps millions of Janes, Johns, Bills, Harrys and Joans…and perhaps a few Russells on cases and cases of Cokes. The chances are some crossed paths with people who had those names. Right place, right time, and the coincidence made Coke fans!
Contrast that with a God who knows not only the possibilities of how many Russells might be out there, but actually knows all the Russells, personally, and even better than Russell knows Russell. In fact, before Russell was born, this God knew all about what he would be named, what he would look like, and what his whole life would be about. And this God knows all the Janes, Johns, Bills and all the rest just that intimately. He knows our rising and our lying down, our goodness and the blackest thought we’ve ever entertained. He knows all about us, and loves us deeply; in fact God is so mad in love with each of us He was willing to die for us, so we could experience eternal life.
Somehow, that’s a whole lot better than coming face to face with a marketing scheme coincidence in a sandwich shop!
It’s no coincidence that He knows your name; he’s the one who inspired your parents to put that name on you!