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Your Existence Is a Masterpiece

“Before I formed you in the womb I knew you,
before you were born I dedicated you,
a prophet to the nations I appointed you.” (Jeremiah 1:4-5)

The first time I remember reading this verse was when I was in college studying at the Newman Center where I lived. This verse was printed on a pro-life sign that hung on the wall in the study lounge. It depicted an unborn baby resting in God’s hand. It seemed to stand as a reminder to me that every life, “is not governed by chance; it is not random,” and that, “your existence (my existence) has been willed by God, blessed and given a purpose!” (Pope Benedict XVI)

I’ve always liked that: how God’s words through Jeremiah comforted me and made me feel chosen—not like an after-thought at all, but more like the precisely thought-out stroke of a brush on a masterpiece painting. Or like I can rest in God’s hands like that unborn baby in the pro-life sign.

What’s interesting, though, is the context of this verse. If we dig a little deeper into it, we learn that God’s message here was not just for one singular person, but for a large group of people: the Israelites. Furthermore, He’s not just telling them they’re going to be okay (though He is saying that), but He’s also telling them that it’ll be a while before everything is brought to restoration and to redemption.
They had to wait seventy years for that. Knowing this background has changed things for me when I see or hear this verse. These words now carry for me a message of hope—that I certainly can rest in God’s hand, but that His plan for me might not look like what I expected . . . and that even then, He will still bring about restoration and redemption as the Father Who loves me.

Read more here about what respect for human life means in a broader and deeper sense.

Annie Deddens is a writer and producer. She runs a prayer ministry with her husband, called Pray More Novenas. She has a heart for the sick & suffering, and she writes about living with greater faith (hope & love, too) in this imperfect world as a Catholic wife. You can find out more about her here.

3 Comments

  • Reply
    Stef
    February 3, 2019 at 11:12 am

    I would love to know the name of the piece used as the art for today’s devotion (the pope praying before Guadelupe?). Could you please share the name and artist? Thank you in advance!

  • Reply
    Amy Jo
    February 3, 2019 at 11:38 am

    Amen, Annie! I was thinking the same thing today as I read these verses. It gave me so much encouragement to know that God told us this would not be easy, but that He would be with us through it all. Praying for our endurance and hope!

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