I’m not particularly fond of fish. In fact, as a little girl I had a bizarre nightmare about fish that fueled a fish phobia that lasted into adulthood. Thankfully I have outgrown this childhood fear of fish and in more recent years have begun to take an interest (albeit slight) in them.
Last weekend some friends took my family and me to Wizard Falls Fish Hatchery in Camp Sherman, Oregon. I have been to a few fish hatcheries before, but never really paid much attention. This time I was particularly struck by how many fish there were. Thousands of fingerlings swam around in cement pools, cared for by the staff until they were old enough to transfer to the lake. At the lake, we threw tiny pellets of fish food into the water and watched with amusement at their antics, as they raced to be first for the morsels.
At some point, my focus changed from seeing all the fish, and I began to pay closer attention to the individual fish. Although they were all rainbow trout, I noticed they were various sizes. One had a chunk taken out of his tail. Another had a big white scar on his back. Some fish preferred to swim closely in a school, while a few seemed to be loners. My friend mentioned that the fish in the lake were survivors. Somehow they had avoided being prey for the birds and other native wild life. As I studied each fish, I began to imagine what he would say to me when I asked about his story.
Have you ever felt insignificant, like a fish lost among thousands of other fish? Maybe you don’t relate to this analogy, but please indulge me here. Or perhaps do you wonder if you really matter, as one person on this planet with over seven billion inhabitants? Be assured, you matter to the Lord much more than you think.
Psalm 139:13-18 is often used to defend the sanctity of human life, and rightly so. However, we should also apply it to the precious care the Lord takes for each of us individually.
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, God!
How vast is the sum of them!
Were I to count them,
they would outnumber the grains of sand—
when I awake, I am still with you.
Look at the attention our God gave to creating you.
- The images of “knitting” and “weaving” convey artistry with attention to detail. There are no haphazard accidents here. The Creator has a specific plan in mind.
- You are fearfully and wonderfully made. Your frame fashioned in the secret place is so much more than your physical body. It includes your personality, temperament, abilities, and talents.
- The Lord ordained each day of your life. He knows the number of your days. He also established you with a purpose and a calling to fulfill.
- God’s thoughts are vast, and they are about you! If you were “to count them, they would outnumber the grains of sand.” You are always on His mind since before you were conceived. His thoughts toward you are good and loving, filled with the potential for which He designed you.
That’s just the start. Is your God-given splendor beginning to sink in?
I have a challenge for you. Take some time today and reflect on the many ways you are fearfully and wonderfully made. Don’t be modest. Write an honest inventory with as many things that come to mind, but at least five things. Then, like the psalmist, praise God for the amazing ways He has created you.
You are so much more than you realize. As you worship the Lord, He will strengthen you to be all that He designed you to be.
In him we were also chosen, having been predestined according to the plan of him who works out everything in conformity with the purpose of his will, in order that we, who were the first to put our hope in Christ, might be for the praise of his glory (Ephesians 1:12-13).
Heavenly Father, thank You for giving me life and breath. Thank You for creating me with loving care. Help me to acknowledge all the wonderful ways You have made me. Help me to be so much more than I imagine. Use me to fulfill Your plans and purposes. In Jesus’ name. Amen.