You watched me as I was being formed in utter seclusion, as I was woven together in the dark of the womb. You saw me before I was born. Psalms 139:15, 16, NLT.
God’s process by which a human being is created is probably the greatest wonder of the universe. It starts with a few million sperm swimming, pollywog-like, towards a released ovum in the fallopian tubes. One lone swimmer arrives shortly before the rest. It penetrates the mucosa layer covering the cell and delivers its half of the DNA required to give the ovum the potential to create a child. As a result of this penetration, in an instant a cascade of chemical changes occurs that block the entry of other sperm cells, insuring the proper development of the embryo.
Within hours the fertilized ovum is implanted in the uterine wall and begins to replicate, forming stem cells. All are clones of each other–exact copies of the original ovum. Yet within a few more hours each of them will “decide” to make something different from the others.
Ponder for a moment that one of these stem cells “decides” to be a certain organ–perhaps it will make the heart. For a few hours it appears to be dividing simply at random but as one watches, as it were, under the microscope, the early shape of a heart materializes before your eyes. The cells continue to divide, making muscle, vessels–arteries and veins–valves, tendons connected to the valves and muscles, neural network structure–all in the most perfect and marvelous order. In about two weeks there is a kind of twitching of muscle tissue that in about three more weeks will be detectable by the gynecologist as the infant’s heartbeat. It’s not pumping blood yet, but it’s beating.
Another stem cell “decides” it will become an eye. It forms the only completely transparent tissue in the body—cornea and lens. It makes an iris to respond to changes in light intensity or brightness by automatically operating miniature muscles. It creates the beautiful eye color, muscles, tendons, rods, cones, vessels—all in the right places and in the right sizes. Perhaps most remarkable of all is the nerve bundle that grows from the back of the eye and penetrates the growing brain near the rear of the head. It turns, dives, and twists back, and then connects to a few billion precisely chosen brain nerve cells so there will be vision!
And this same precise, intricately engineered process happens as each of the different organs is formed. Incredible, isn’t it?
Once more, Lord, I have to exclaim, as did the psalmist, “I am indeed wonderfully made!”