September 10, 2007

A Shepherd's Tale - Beginnings

"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. How precious to me are your thoughts, O God!" (Psalm 139:13-17)

I don't much remember those first days, but what a marvel they were! Just imagine, an egg and a sperm got together and the result of those two tiny and unremarkable cells linking up is me! Oh sure, there are 40 years and 9 months of growth, learning, and experiences thrown into the mix now, but it all started right there! What a miraculous and wonderful process got started at that moment! I found the following information on the National Library of Medicine's website. It is amazing all that was going on with me in those early days...

Week 3

  • My brain, spinal cord, and heart is beginning to develop
  • So is my gastrointestinal tract.

Weeks 4 to 5

  • My heart started beating in rhythm
  • Blood started flowing
  • My eyes and ears got their start
  • My brain developed into five areas and some cranial nerves began to be visible
  • My arms and legs start growing!

Week 6

  • My lungs get their start this week
  • And my arms and legs are longer. Guess what, I've got feet and hands now complete with toes and fingers!

Week 7

  • This week you can see my elbows!
  • All my essential organs are starting to form.

Week 8

  • My dashing good looks are taking form as my face continues to develop.

Weks 9 to 12

  • I've got a big head right now. It's about half of my body!
  • No mistaking it now. I'm definitely good looking! My face is fully formed.
  • Getting ready to have teeth too. My tooth buds are forming but they won't show up for almost a year!
  • Guess what I can do now! I can make a fist!
  • And look at that! I'm a boy!

Weeks 13 to 16

  • I'm almost 6 inches long!
  • My muscles and bones have developed too!
  • I'm beginning to move around some.
  • I've learned how to suck. Gotta' be ready to eat!

Week 20

  • To complete my boyish good looks I now have eyebrows and eyelashes!
  • Oh yeah, my toenails and fingernails have started growing.
  • Mom felt me kick her this week and the doctor heard my heartbeat with his stethoscope.

Week 24

  • I'm almost a foot long this week!
  • Everything I will need to see is now in place. My baby blues are ready to take a look!
  • Things startle me now. My reflexes are coming along.
  • There is no longer any mistaking me for someone else, I've got fingerprints!

Weeks 25 to 28

  • I'm starting to pack on the pounds now. I'm weighing in around 2.5 pounds.
  • I'm getting smarter too. My brain is getting its act together for my debut!
  • I'm learning how to wink as my eyelids are opening and closing.
  • If I was born at this time I could survive. It would be tough but possible.

Weeks 29 to 32

  • I'm a foot and a half long and still growing!
  • Mom has been eating good so I'm getting fat.
  • My breathing is regular now and my bones are fully developed now.
  • I've started storing iron, calcium and phosphorus as I get ready to take on the world.

Weeks 37 to 40

  • I'm now 18 to 22 inches long and about 7 pounds.
  • My fingernails may need to be cut as they are past my finger tips now
  • And I have a beautiful head of hair now!

On February 1, 1967 (I'm 40, just to save you the math) around 5 p.m. I came wailing into this world. What a miracle! Something even more astounding is that God loved me from long before I got my 2 celled start in life. In fact, the Bible says that He has loved me from the foundations of the world. Since before time began, He's been loving me. What's more, He's got plans for me! He told Jeremiah, "Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I set you apart; I appointed you as a prophet to the nations." (Jer. 1:5). Sure, God was speaking to Jeremiah, but if He knew Jeremiah and had plans for Jeremiah's life I believe He also knew me and has had plans for me from before I got my two celled start. How cool is that!
At this first stop on our pilgrimage you may want to take a moment to simply take in the wonder of your own birth. It might be an opportunity for you to remember your wondrous worth to God. You may feel pretty worthless, but discovering a God who loved you even before you got your start can change all that!


Paul Thompson said...

Hey John, I love the early months time line that you found. It really is an amazing thing isn't it? Simply Amazing!

Mike said...

Discovering we are not an accident is an important life truth. So many people feel they are a result of a biological combination of events instead of an individual person of unqiue destiny.