Ecclesiasted 3:11 -- "He (God) has made everything beautiful in its time. He has also set eternity in the human heart; yet no one can fathom what God has done from beginning to end."
So many times, after Steve and I spend time with our three children, we ask ourselves, "How in the world did three such different/unique/surprising people come from the same set of parents?" I suspect that all of you who have more than one child have asked yourselves the same question. Laura, Matt, and Julie may have a few physical characteristics in common, but their personalities, skills, and talents are vastly different. All good, you understand, but different.
Then, as the years have passed, the DNA of our children's spouses has been added to the mix to produce 15 grandchildren with their own set of gifts.
Allie adores being a new mother, has endless admiration for her husband, and crafts beautiful poetry.
Luke loves the stage and everything involved in a production -- lights, costumes, music, etc.
Nathan navigates rough waters in his kayak and does it skillfully. He's a leader in his youth group.
Seth swings a golf club and throws a football like a natural athlete.
Margaret makes beautiful music at the piano and was a perfect Jo in last year's "Little Women."
Birti made her school's junior varsity soccer team and is a sought-after babysitter and dogsitter.
Megan can talk for hours about anything having to do with "Star Wars."
Penelope enjoys baking bread and keeps things lively in her church's youth group.
Rosemary is one of the most even-tempered people you'll ever meet. She's quiet but full of thoughts.
Samuel can put complicated Lego sets together and is good with motorized farm equipment.
Bethany is small but smart and independent. Her attitude is "if the older kids can do it, so can I."
Silas thinks before he speaks and gives great answers to questions (much like his granddaddy).
Enoch is a daredevil who received many knots on his head in early years from his stunts. The glint in his eye is charmingly mischievous.
Beatrix is talking up a storm and loves playing in the dirt in the garden or sandbox near the treehouse. She takes good care of her baby dolls.
Sarah Ruth is coming into her own and has remarkable posture for a two-year-old.
God made them all beautiful. Other translations of the word "beautiful" could be fitting, lovely, fair, appropriate, suitable. Another way to interpret that verse could be: God made everything suitable for its purpose at its appointed time. Every one of us is on earth now with a specific purpose at this particular time, and that is true for each of my children and grandchildren as well as yours.
The second part of the verse says, "He has also set eternity in the human heart." He has created us to know in our innermost being that there is "Something bigger" than ourselves. Even those who have never heard of God have a sense that the world didn't just happen. A Creator is above all and bigger than all.
And the third part says, "Yet no one can fathom what God has done from beginning to end."
God is at work all the time, everywhere. It's impossible for us to grasp the magnitude of that, but it is 100% true.
I needed these reminders for myself today. Maybe you need them, too.