The Human Ego
Have you ever created or done something and then not been credited for it? By not being credited, I mean not being noticed, applauded, rewarded, or at least thanked for it, or worse yet, someone else getting credit for your work! Now that would be really annoying, wouldn’t it?!
We definitely like being the center or apple of people’s eye!
And such a thing could happen in a wide range of accomplishments–from your writing a touching article or poem, capturing a unique photograph, or making a delicious homemade dinner to proposing a successful business plan, singing a beautiful song, or scoring the winning point for your sports team.
Being glory seekers, we naturally love creating or succeeding, so if such an oversight dare occur, we’d definitely be hurt or angry. After all, we as humans, not known for our humility, want to look good and feel worthwhile, and so we do everything we can to make sure glory is accredited toward our account, don’t we?
The Ultimate Insult
Well, do you know that God, the One who deserves all of our worship and praise, is much more often than not denied His authorship of creating not only His majestic masterpieces of the heavens, the earth, and the whole universe but also of His own glorious image bearers, called men and women?
Sadly, God’s people, these precious eternal beings He created for relationship with Himself, have turned against Him by wanting to limit Him or deny His existence altogether. They do so because if they acknowledge there is an Author of life or Sovereign One, then they will be held accountable to someone greater than themselves, and then they won’t be able to call the shots on their lives. So they try to wipe Him out so they can be “god” and be in control, or at least feel they are in control, of their lives.
I have seen this desire for control, stemming from denying this authorship of God, amplified in the last four months since discovering I was pregnant with a child. I mean, I’ve had everyone from medical professionals to friends, intentionally or unintentionally, seemingly put on me the heavy responsibility of creating a healthy, happy, whole child. Needless to say, this has been very overwhelming as the human body is complex and beyond my understanding or ability to fully manage, let alone create!
Not of Our Own Making
Well, it has been neat to see how in the midst of all of this turmoil, God, the real Author of life, keeps reminding me that HE is really in charge. Just consider some of the following truths God has given me that have greatly encouraged and relieved my burden over the past two months especially:
“Know ye that the LORD he is God: it is he that hath made us, and not we ourselves;
we are his people, and the sheep of his pasture.” (Psa. 100:3)
So do you mean to tell me, God, that I don’t have to focus or solely depend on my super-healthy eating habits, my regular exercise routine, my watchful care every month over my hypothyroidism, my getting up-to-date shots, my supplements, my getting investigative ultrasounds, and more for the baby to turn out okay?? I mean, You don’t need me to worry or stress out about doing all of these things or doing them perfectly?!
Whenever I look at this photo of our baby at 12 weeks, it still fills me with a holy fear or reverence and awe of God. Wow! Now that is something I did not create!!
“No!” whispers God, “because you don’t make yourselves.” That’s right, because “You [God] created my inmost being; You knit me together in my mother’s womb” (Psa. 139:13).
After all, “Your eyes saw my unformed body” and “all the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be” (Psa. 139:16). In other words, God had my body and the length of my life, and those of my baby, all planned out in His mind’s eye before we even came to exist.
Of course, that does not mean I should outrightly abuse my body or not do my best to care for it as God directs, but ultimately, I’m not, nor is my baby, “my” creation or product. That little one is God’s, and God is going to do the major work because He had its body, and life in general, planned out long before I even knew of it. I’m even reminded of God’s sovereignty over creation seeing whole, healthy babies come from mothers who were on drugs or mothers in third world countries.
And because we are “his people” and “the sheep of his pasture,” we have nothing to fear! After all, Jesus is called the “great Shepherd of the sheep” (Heb. 13:20) who “lays down his life for the sheep” (Jn. 10:11).
God’s Repeated Cries of His Authorship
Now you wouldn’t expect this, but in Isaiah, a book of prophecy nonetheless, God repeatedly cries out through Isaiah that He is our Creator. People get upset with God about claiming His authorship of us and creation (they’d rather credit Mother Nature, whoever she is), but ironically, they as mere creatures have no problem crying out about their own authorship or declaring their rights. How God must laugh and grieve at the same time over our pettiness and foolishness!
Anyways, one morning, that of Tuesday, January 7, when I was very discouraged, I came upon the following five cries referencing God’s authorship, and these came from just a matter of a few chapters in Isaiah. Read on and see their amazing implications for us as God’s handiwork:
Cry 1: ”Everyone who is called by my name,
whom I created for my glory, whom I formed and made.” (43:7)
Since the whole idea of each individual originates with God in the first place (if not, then who?) and since He created us for His glory, otherwise known as His honor and magnificence, then why would He need our puny help in forming and making our offspring? And so is the case if He could make the first, perfect man out of the helpless, insignificant dust of the ground of all things (Gen. 2:7).
How does He form and make us then? Well, in Psalm 119:73, it says, “Your hands have made me and formed me.” Just think–the very hands of God Almighty touched you before any human hands ever did! And to think that God did not just speak you into being as He did, and perhaps still does, with the rest of His creation, but instead, He so gently takes nine long months to weave you together with His hands into a fearfully and wonderfully-made individual.
Cry 2: ”The people I formed for myself
that they may proclaim my praise.” (43:21)
So not only are we created for God’s glory but also for Himself to be “his treasured possession” (Deut. 7:6) and for singing and declaring His praises to a lost and dark world (1 Pet. 2:9). Now do you think that if we felt we had any part in His awesome creation of babies or new human beings, do you think we’d feel much like His possession (that we are not our own), let alone feel like giving Him praise? Probably not!
What is another way God forms us then? Job 33:4 says, “The Spirit of God has made me; the breath of the Almighty gives me life.” Thenceforth, the origins of our spirits and our continued dependance on God’s breath for life.
Cry 3: ”This is what the Lord says—he who made you, who formed you in the womb,
and who will help you: Do not be afraid, . . . “ (44:2)
We as women especially like to take charge and don’t trust, so we rush off into our own plans instead of waiting for and trusting the Lord as Isaiah said he’d do in chapter 8, verse 17.
Since God is completely in control and the One who’s really helping me, I don’t have to fear what people say could happen to the baby if I don’t do such and such. As I told one of the midwives at my last appointment in early January, my trust is not in medicine or doctors but in the Lord.
In regards to not fearing though, on Monday, January 13, as I was really seeking or wanting the Lord to direct me in His paths, I was reading Isaiah 8 and was deeply touched and comforted by its message in verses 11-14: “The Lord spoke to me with his strong hand upon me, warning me not to follow the way of this people. He said: ‘. . . Do not fear what they fear, and do not dread it. The LORD Almighty is the one you are to regard as holy, he is the one you are to fear, he is the one you are to dread. And he will be a sanctuary.”
Did you hear that? God wants us to fear Him and not what the world fears. Not only that, He promises to be a sanctuary for us or “a place of refuge or safety,” but we have to let Him. Isaiah went on to say how Israel did not fear or reverence God and let Him be their safety though, so not only did they stumble and fall, but they also became trapped and ensnared.
We pity those Israelites, but if you think about it, that is where many people in America and around the world live today. Since we don’t seek the Lord but so often consult and depend on the advice of others, who for the most part do not speak according to God’s Word–how can they when they are too busy to read or know it?–they have “no light of dawn” says Isaiah in verse 20.
So we, like those Israelites, are distressed, hungry, and roaming about in darkness and fearful gloom. As an example, just look at our medical system today. Even though it has gotten so big and powerful and has spent tons of money on researching diseases, they are still without solid solutions. It’s so sad, but I highly doubt this highly-sought-after medical community, which is highly scientific and anti-God, are seeking Him, who alone has the light of dawn or the way, the truth, and the life.
Cry 4: “This is what the Lord says—your Redeemer, who formed you in the womb:
I am the Lord, the Maker of all things, who stretches out the heavens,
who spreads out the earth by myself.” (44:24)
Doesn’t it make sense that if God can create such vast things such as the heavens and the earth on His own, He has made us on His own? And if you’re thinking, “Well, He didn’t make the heavens and the earth–they just evolved,” may I challenge you to consider how foolish evolution really is? I mean, it’s like saying a masterpiece painting, a classic musical composition, or great architectural building “poofed” or just came into being on its own. Now if that is not insane, I don’t know what is.
Cry 5: “Listen to me, you descendants of Jacob, all the remnant of the people of Israel,
you whom I have upheld since your birth, and have carried since you were born.
Even to your old age and gray hairs I am he, I am he who will sustain you.
I have made you and I will carry you; I will sustain you and I will rescue you.” (46:3-4)
Making and then upholding and carrying your people from birth until old age! That is a big task God has put upon Himself, but it really goes to show how fragile we are yet how powerful and all-sufficient He is And to think we so often ignore or deny His existence! How that must break God’s heart because He obviously cares about us so much. I mean, how many parents, let alone the most loving ones, really want to hold their children all throughout their lives?! On top of that, God reminds us that He Himself will rescue us.
The Faith of Mere but Magnificent Flowers
“And why do you worry about clothes? See how the flowers of the field grow. They do not labor or spin. Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you—you of little faith?” (Matt. 6:28-30).
Water lilies are one of my favorite flowers to photograph because of their splendor and beauty. I took this photo in Naples, Florida, in January 2011.
Do you realize how comforting these words were, and continue to be, to me as a new mother? I mean, if mere flowers, in all of their intricate beauty and fragrance, do not have to “labor or spin” to reproduce themselves or clothe themselves and their seed with wholeness and beauty, then why should I?!
How awesome is that, and to hear God whisper in my ear that morning of Wednesday, January 15, that it would be ridiculous to think He wouldn’t care for and clothe me or my “seed” (our baby) in much greater ways has been so reassuring in spite of what the noisy, fearful world around me says He can’t or won’t do on His own.
Like God said, our “little faith” in His character, provision, and power is the cause of many of our fears, sorrows, and destruction in life. As the hymn writer Joseph Scriven wrote in 1855, “O what peace we often forfeit, O what needless pain we bear, all because we do not carry everything to God in prayer.”
I know this has been long, but I hope you’ve seen the authorship of God declared loud and clear throughout these verses, which are only a small portion of what the Bible has to say about God’s authorship of all creation though. I pray today that they will give you hope and the assurance or faith needed to confidently “stand up and praise the Lord your God, who is from everlasting to everlasting” and shout,
“Blessed be your [God's] glorious name, and may it be exalted above all blessing and praise. You alone are the Lord. You made the heavens, even the highest heavens, and all their starry host, the earth and all that is on it, the seas and all that is in them. You give life to everything, and the multitudes of heaven worship you.”