Carl Sandburg famously said, “A baby is God’s opinion that life should go on.”
Well, life should go on. Last week, for the first time in my life, I became a grandfather.
Comedian Steven Wright once said, “My friend has a baby. I’m recording all the noises he makes so later I can ask him what he meant.” Out of the mouth of babes …
How thankful to the Lord am I. It’s true what they say: If I had known being a grandparent was so much fun, I would have done that first.
This whole experience allows me an opportunity to praise the God of the universe for the miracle of birth. What He has created and continues to create is mind-boggling.
It’s strange that my daughter, the mom of my new grandchild, gained much weight in pregnancy; yet baby Elizabeth was only 8 pounds, 3 ounces upon birth. What were the extra pounds for? The cord, the placenta, the water and other auxiliary mechanisms. We see how the mother’s body feeds and nourishes the baby, first with colostrum (filled with antibodies, etc.), then with milk. All as God designed.
The Mayo Clinic staff have put together some great information on fetal development. It seems the miracle begins at the very beginning and keeps on going from there. I didn’t even read beyond the first trimester.
The Clinic says that by the time of:
- Fertilization the baby’s gender and “traits such as eye and hair color, and, to some extent, personality and intelligence” are set.
- Three weeks after conception “your baby is about the size of the tip of a pen.”
- Four weeks after conception “your baby’s heart is pumping blood.” Also, four weeks after conception: “Basic facial features will begin to appear, including passageways that will make up the inner ear and arches that will contribute to the jaw.” Yet at this point your baby’s no bigger than the size of a pencil eraser.
- Five weeks after conception “your baby’s brain and face are rapidly developing.”
- Seven weeks after conception the baby’s arms, elbows, toes and eyelids develop. Yet the baby is only three-quarters of an inch long at this stage.
- Eight weeks after conception the eyelids begin to close for protection.
- Ten weeks after conception fingernails now develop. Yet by this stage the baby only weighs about half an ounce.
And on it goes, in the miracle preceding birth.
Are we supposed to believe all this stuff just happened by chance?
Years ago I had the privilege of interviewing Dr. Michael Behe, a biology professor at LeHigh University in Pennsylvania and author of the book “Darwin’s Black Box.” He said that even the “simplest cell” in the body is so complex that it contains a great deal of information.
I asked him if one were to put all the information to be found in one cell into books the size of the Encyclopedia Britannica, about how many volumes would this comprise?
He answered about two to three dozen volumes! That is how much information is found in one cell of the human body. And our bodies are comprised of about 5 trillion cells.
For those with eyes to see, God is glorified in His creation – even at the microscopic level.
Dr. Francis Collins, the director of the Human Genome Project and the author of the book “The Language of God,” believes in God-ordained evolution. He and I can agree to disagree on that.
But he said, “If you printed out the sequence of the human genome on regular paper with regular font size and you stapled it all together and piled it up, it would be as tall as the Washington Monument. And you have that information inside each cell of your body.”
Each of us is a walking miracle. But somehow it is more clearly seen in a baby.
Dr. Behe says the living cell is a masterpiece of design. It could not possibly have originated by chance: “In Darwin’s day, scientists were vaguely aware that there were things such as cells, but most of them thought that they were like little pieces of Jell-O, little microscopic pieces of protoplasm. And in the middle of the 19th century, some scientists even thought that cells and life could kind of ooze up from the ocean bottom, just spontaneously.”
With advances in microbiology, we know better now. Besides, Milton Berle once quipped, “If evolution really works, how come mothers only have two hands?”
Three thousand years ago, King David said it best, in one of his Psalms of praise (No. 139).
David exalted God, “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.”
For this new baby girl in our world, I am most grateful to Jesus Christ, who was not only the co-Creator of everything, including her, but He Himself experienced the miracle of birth.