Friday, June 27, 2014

Guest Post: "Before You Were Born"

Have you ever, or had someone share with you, their first ultrasound picture in their pregnancy?  One came to me this week with much excitement.  If you haven’t seen them, they usually have an arrow pointing to a ‘peanut’ like shape and the word 'BABY' typed by it. It is one more verification for the parents-to-be that indeed they are going to have a baby.  While it is later when they can determine the gender of the baby, this picture is treasured by parents. 

I am planning to teach a class in the fall that includes an overview of the prophet Jeremiah. I have always loved the fifth verse in the first chapter.

"Before I formed you in the womb I knew you...
 Before you were born I set you apart…"
God knew us, (note that it is past tense, as is formed) as he did Jeremiah, before we were born or the tiny ‘peanut-like’ shape of a modern ultrasound picture. Actually, God says in this verse that he knew us before we were conceived. He knew us before we were in the womb.This is amazing grace.  The child in the womb has done nothing to deserve this attention by God, or so we would think. Yet God knows it and plans for it.  Later in Jeremiah, we do learn that God has plans for us.

As I have meditated on this verse this week, I felt the realization that for all that God knows about me, I know so much less about God.  While it will be impossible for me to ever know God as well as he knows me, I should strive to know him better than I do. How can I measure if my relationship with him has grown from the first days when I was aware of God, or even when I declared Christ to be my Lord and Savior?

The other part of this verse is that God set Jeremiah apart for a particular role, for Jeremiah, to be a prophet. If God knows us, then it follows that he has a purpose for our lives, a purpose for us alone to fulfill. That makes knowing God even more important. Being set apart means that God has sanctified us. We are set by God and for God.

As we enjoy the quieter schedule of the summer, it is a good time to think about how well I know God and his purpose for my life.  It can be a time of evaluating our spirituality. Am I spending enough time getting to know our God that knows me completely? How can I allow more time to develop my relationship with God?  Does it mean I need to give up something in order to have time to work on this relationship?  In God’s wisdom and grace, I have been selected by Him. The question is, how am I responding to that calling, that blessing, and that trust?

Back to the ‘peanut’ in the ultrasound picture.  We do not know anything about this little one. We do not know anything about what it will grow up to be (God knows its gender, just not anyone else). But we can be assured that as a child of God, it is chosen and set apart by God and for God.  This truth should give us great comfort in this world.  If God is for us, who can be against us? (Romans 8:31).

So with this knowledge we wait for all those children who will come to us. And we will celebrate as a Church family each birth and baptism.  May we all continue to grow in our knowledge, love and understanding of the God who has always known us and called us.

Renda Brinson is the Director of Christian Education. She lives in Matthews with her husband, Earl and dog, Daisy. Renda has four grown sons, and five grandchildren with one on the way! If you enjoy her writing, you should check out her blog at

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