“Nothing is impossible with God.” Luke 1:37
At 33 weeks Baby Chris will add about a half a pound per week until birth. The amniotic fluid is being digested in the amount of about a pint a day now. His fingernails are now long enough to reach to the tip of the fingers or beyond and might need trimming once he’s born. His skull bones aren't fused together and are quite pliable.
Every mother has wondered how that big baby’s head is going to come out that small exit! But a combination of hormonal changes and mechanical adjustments between the mother’s pelvis and the baby’s skull makes it all possible. A hormone called relaxin loosens the ligaments around the pelvis. The symphysis pubis joint – at the front of the pelvis – is made up of fibrocartilage flexible enough to allow movement for more space for the baby’s head and shoulders. A baby’s head is made up of seven bones, held together with cranial sutures that come together in a “soft spot” at the top of the skull. There is also a soft spot in front and another in the rear. As the baby’s head moves down through the dilated cervix, the unfused bones in his skull will shift and overlap slightly to allow the head to fit through. These soft spots allow the head to be flexible during birth and allow for more brain development after birth. The bones won’t fuse until the baby is around two years old.
The process of human growth and development that begins in the womb is evident and continues throughout our lives. Sentience (the capacity to feel and relate) is something that also increases with maturity and has no connection to one’s humanity or personhood. In males, the human brain is not fully developed until at least the age of twenty-five, and some researchers believe that emotional maturity isn’t reached until the age of 43. Doctor Luke noted that even Jesus – whose incarnation was human perfection from the moment of conception - “grew in wisdom and stature” (Luke 2:52). Contrary to the assertions of pro-abortion philosophers (n.b. philosophy is not a science), there is no degree of physical or sensory development that serves as a line of demarcation between “non-human” and “human” or between “non-person” and “person.”
Scripture repeats the theme of God’s intentional hand in creation and lifelong human development: God formed Adam from dust (Genesis 2:7); Job referred to himself as God’s clay (Job 10:8-9; 33:6); the Prophet Isaiah likened humans to clay on a wheel being worked by God as a potter (Isaiah 64:8); and Paul reminds us that God retains sovereign power over the use of his clay (Romans 9:20-21; 2 Timothy 2:20). Our flexible, soft forms, minds and spirits gradually take the shape He intends. Some of his work in us is allowed to cure – to harden over time - while other work will be fired to hardness in a hot kiln of the tests and trials of life.
We have a God-infused flexibility of body, mind and spirit that enables us to accomplish whatever it is God intends, no matter how impossible the task appears. Throughout our lives, “it is God who is at work in you, both to will and to work for His good pleasure,” (Philippians 2:13), molding us into who we need to be to perform the good works prepared for us (Ephesians 2:10). If the stretch is painful or the fire is hot, we can be certain that “the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is to be revealed to us,” (Romans 8:18).
“For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.”
Picture Credit: pagingfunmums.com