Have you ever pondered something so amazing and unfathomable that your head starts to hurt? You simply can’t wrap your mind around it. I often feel that way when I look up at the stars and consider how big the universe is, for example. But I haven’t always pondered the miracle of life in the same way.
I’m four months along in my first pregnancy, and lately, I’ve been experiencing a certain wonder about the life growing inside of me.
How about you? Have you ever thought about how life develops in the womb – I mean truly thought about it?
I think pro-life advocates can often fall into the same trap that sometimes snares longtime Christians: That is, you’ve heard what you believe preached so many times that it ceases to amaze you. The Gospel starts to sound a lot more like old news instead of the Good News.
It’s the same with the sanctity of life – the development of life in the womb starts to seem more commonplace and less miraculous. After all, babies are born every day.
But I think it’s worth setting aside some time to ponder these things. And a recent article in Answers magazine gave me an even greater look into the miraculous development of a baby in the womb. Just consider these excerpts from the article.
Think about this. You might be 5’10” today, but you were once a mere 100 microns in diameter, smaller than the dot above an “i.” Such astronomical growth is comparable to a marble growing to the width of a football field—a 10,000-fold increase!
The Creation of Life from One Single Cell
Consider further, your body is composed of tens of trillions of cells (about 10,000 times Earth’s population), all originating from that tiny cell created at conception. Your more than 200 cell types came from that cell containing all the information necessary to direct the development and organization of the tens of trillions of cells into integrated systems so you could design skyscrapers, compose symphonies, perform athletic feats of gymnastics and flying fighter jets, speak multiple languages, and do mathematics that would put man on the moon.
The Heart’s Development
Simultaneously and independently, the heart field cells self-assemble into two separate tubes. These bilateral tubes must move in the correct three-dimensional direction and find the embryonic midline. The tubes have the ability to detect local migratory cues, pointing the way to the midline where they then fuse with the corresponding tube from the other side. It is now a common heart tube and eventually will become the left ventricle, the largest and “power” chamber of the heart.
Do you feel a headache coming on? I know I do. But it’s the good kind.
Add to that this fact: “Each step of development is dependent upon the previous step. Disrupting any step in the process destroys the whole process so that the embryo will not reach reproductive adulthood.”
It’s hard to deny that all of this – the intricate, ordered nature of the development of a precious new life in the womb – points to a Creator. It points to a God that cares deeply about all of the details that make us who we are, from the very moment of conception.
And most importantly, it points to a God who values human life – every human life.
“For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother's womb” (Psalm 139).