By Brock Bondurant
Psalm 139:13-16 – 13For you formed my inward parts; you knitted me together in my mother’s womb. 14I praise you for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works; my soul knows it very well. 15My frame was not hidden from you, when I was being made in secret, intricately woven in the depths of the earth. 16Your eyes saw my unformed substance; in your book were written, every one of them, the days that were formed for me, when as yet there was none of them.
I remember sitting in the doctor’s office with my wife as we got our first glimpse at a new life – one that we played a part in creating – resting inside the walls of their first home: my wife’s womb. Could this be an eternal soul?
I remember a few weeks before that when my wife broke the news of our unexpected creation; the news that we had become parents! It was a shocking moment. Disbelief set in. This news came along a little quicker than we had planned. Could we handle this? Ready or not: it didn’t matter; we were parents now. What was shocking at first would became an unplanned blessing. Until then, we’d have the gift of nine months to be formed into what we had become – Mom and Dad.
Back to the doctor’s office . . .
I remember thinking of Psalm 139 as we peered at the ultrasound screen to see the nine-week-old tiny human there, it’s frame not hidden from us. David, the author of the Psalm, didn’t have the luxury of an ultrasound machine, but this felt very near to the song he sings. We saw the head. The arms and legs were flailing about; is he/she making a throwing motion with that right arm?! (They definitely were by the way. Proud dad of a growing quarterback.) There was a whole human being knit together, those inward parts being formed, right there in the mother’s womb—formed and forming.
Life had a new perspective. Here I was: Dad, looking at what was being made in secret – the creation of a life that stemmed from the love of two eternal souls themselves.
Psalm 139 has always had a fond place in my heart and mind since surrendering my life to Jesus back in 2015. In its stanzas, I found the intentional love and attentional affection from a Father who had always had me in mind and in hand, even before the foundation of the world (Ephesians 1:4). He had once peered at me, knitting me together, forming the inward parts of what was and would be his child. As I got to stare at the new life that I helped to create, the life that was being formed, I couldn’t help but recount every word from this love poem, written by David from the very heart of God.
“Who am I,” I thought, “to get to steward such a blessing?” I hadn’t even planned on being a father so soon. I felt a kinship for Joseph, who found himself surprised by Mary’s news of an unexpected birth. I felt God saying, “Your circumstances may be different than his, but this baby is mine all the same. I am giving you, like Joseph, the opportunity and responsibility to shepherd this little soul into who he/she will become.” All souls belong to the Lord. I couldn’t believe that he’d entrust me to care for this one.
The Lord knew all the days that were formed for me, when as yet there was none of them (v. 16). The same is true for this new soul, my child. Whether we planned for this little guy or gal to come exactly at this time, every one of their days was planned by the Lord. Perfect timing, indeed.
Among those planned days are the nine months leading up to the big reveal – the daughter or son exiting the secret place to join us on the outside. I learned very early in the pregnancy that those nine months are as much about preparing us as parents as they are about preparing that newly formed soul for life in this cold world. Babies don’t just appear immediately – thank God! Like the entire human experience, babies are formed over time. And just like our soon-to-arrive bundle of joy, we needed time to be formed ourselves. With just a few weeks left, I wouldn’t say that we’re ‘ready;’ we’ll need all forty weeks to become the type of people who can provide what this child needs. But we are more capable of love now than when we first began. Sounds an awful lot like the journey of following Jesus. Being formed more and more into his likeness as we choose to go along (2 Cor 3:18).
So, for us, these nine months are vital, yet the work of growth into who God designed us to be will continue for a lifetime. And we’re confident that every single one of those days that are culminating into a lifetime were formed for us and us for them; blessed to be a blessing. We were made for this moment – these moments – and every day ahead, our baby included. Psalm 139 is a place to be reminded of that.
We’ve still got a little more time to prepare. Until then,
23Search me, O God, and know my heart!
Try me and know my thoughts!
24See if there be any grievous way in me,
and lead me in the way everlasting!
Form me into the right man for the job, Lord! God, you’re a Father; make me like you.