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. Psalm 139:13-16 (NIV)
You go before me and follow me. You place your hand of blessing on my head. Psalm 139:5 (NLT)
As I read through scripture, I often wonder . . . who are we that God would take notice of us? Do I even realize all that God does for me? And what kind of God are you, Lord, that you would care about me?
Below are some thoughts I had a few years ago as I was ironing my son’s graduation gown:
I do not like to iron. In fact, I rarely iron these days: shirts go to the cleaners, and I have become an expert at smoothing out wrinkles by hanging items near a steamy shower—all to avoid ironing. I don’t like it, and I am not very good at it. But on this day in May, I stand before an ironing board with steam rising from a hot iron because it is the day of my first-born son’s graduation, and I am ironing his graduation gown.
The wrinkles are not yielding to the iron, so I spray with water to make them disappear. The gown is long and full, and the job is taking much longer than anticipated. As soon as I smooth out one section, I realize volumes of fabric still await my touch. I wonder if anyone will notice this gown is devoid of wrinkles when my son crosses the stage—surely not the eighteen-year-old for whom I am putting forth this effort. He would think the ironing unnecessary. Had it been up to him, he would have kept it in the box until minutes before graduation, insisting that no one would care about the creases in his gown. No, my son is not going to notice his well ironed gown or appreciate the time it has taken to make it look nice. But I care. I am his mother, and this act of ironing is only one of numerous behind-the-scenes tasks that I have done for him throughout his lifetime. You see, I fell in love with this boy before he was born, and I cannot help myself. I want him to look good when he crosses the stage on this special evening. Crazy love, wild love!
As I continue to iron, I wonder about the many behind-the-scenes gestures that our Lord does for us—kindnesses of which we may never be aware until we meet Him in eternity. Sometimes we notice—things like the colors of a sunrise or autumn leaves or perhaps insight given to us just when we need it or the comfort of a friend during a difficult time. But much of the time, I skip through life leaving many of God’s blessings unacknowledged.
I think about all Jesus has done for us—to make us acceptable before God and for eternity. We might think that we are good enough to enter God’s Kingdom—and we are—but ONLY because of what Jesus has done for us through His redemptive death on the cross. And having redeemed us, he doesn’t stop there; throughout our lives, He continues to transform us. He smoothes out our creases and wrinkles to make us look good—to make us into the people He created us to be.
It makes you wonder why he would take the time to do these things for His children—often oblivious children who do not fully understand the sacrifice—children who take little notice of what He does for them. But, the truth is our Lord fell in love with you before you were born. He cannot help Himself. He wants you to look presentable when you cross over to God’s Kingdom, and He will do whatever it takes. And that’s crazy love, wild love.
Because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ, even when we were dead in our trespasses. It is by grace we have been saved! Ephesians 2:4-5 (NIV)
For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do. Ephesians 2:10 (NIV)