Big Idea #3: Normal embryonic development is a process that involves timing and coordination of several events that are regulated by multiple mechanisms, including genes.
I could watch YouTube videos detailing embryology for hours. Butter the popcorn. Grab a fleece blanket. Hunker down with a laptop. And watch. After fertilization of the female egg (from which I will spare you the juicy details), the single cell divides multiple times without gaining mass. In the resulting small ball of individual cells, the germ layers protrude. Eventually, these layers differentiate into specialized, life-containing units. Out of the organized layers, organogenesis ushers in cells and tissues and organs. And all these things occur under the careful direction of gene regulation by which genes containing DNA are turned on or off as needed.
I love it. All of it.
Because life is beautiful.
When I watch the embryo develop and grow, I see the Maker’s hand busy at work, weaving together his intricate design for a new life. It is precious and it is profound, mostly because there is purpose in the haphazard. And it all unfolds gently within his hand. As specified by my biology teacher’s syllabus, embryonic development involves extensive timing and coordination by the One and Only.
Recently, this changed my perspective.
Just as God defined the sequential stages in a human embryo’s young life, so also has he organized my emotional and spiritual maturity. Previously, he has coordinated the events and progression of my life which lead to complete development–and everything is heavily regulated by his hand. Each season of life he gives me is timed carefully and specifically to grow me into maturity. The rate of my development is not too fast, nor too slow; it is controlled in perfection. And each stage prepares me for the next as it gently unfolds.
This realization is significant.
Because you know what? This particular season– this particular year–in my life is for stretching. And stretching inevitably includes breaking through comfort zones–comfort zones which have hemmed me in and kept me from growth. These fences were–and are–strong and tall. And so it has taken three hundred and sixty-five days to tear them down. I’m not even finished yet.
But, I have discovered this is not a problem; rather, it is an opportunity for continual growth. Because God has everything prepared.When he planned my life, he had my proper and complete development in mind. And like each stage of embryonic development, he has directed my past, my present, and my future. Accordingly, I have nothing to fear.
And neither do you.
The progression of every life is coordinated by the Giver of Life. And we can be sure that he is fully capable. He is all knowing, all seeing, all creating. The works of his hands are perfect–and he calls them good. Although you are not perfect, as none of us are, he does have marvelous dreams for you. And he has planned them perfectly, which means he is perfectly preparing you for them.
He has this under control; so have faith.
“And I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ.” Philippians 1:6.