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“The Lord directs the steps of the godly. He delights in every detail of their lives.”—Psalm 37:231
God knows every detail about you—your likes and dislikes, personal characteristics, locations, family, and so much more. He’s an expert on you. He could write a book about you. He could write the book about you.
There are over 7.6 billion people on the earth, and He knows you personally and completely. God even knows how many hairs are on your head: “Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? Yet not one of them will fall to the ground outside your Father’s care. And even the very hairs of your head are all numbered. So don’t be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows.”2
How many hairs do humans have on their head? Go look into a mirror and start counting. Impossible, right? Here are some facts:
- Blondes have about 150,000 hairs.
- Redheads have around 90,000.
- If your hair is black or brown, you have about 110,000.
So the average human head has 100,000 hairs. There are approximately 7,660,000,000 people on the planet. That means God knows the current status of 7,660,000,000,000,000 hairs on human heads. (Yes, some people are bald, but this is an average.) That’s 7.66 quadrillion hairs that God knows quite well.
And that’s just the humans. We haven’t even gotten to the animals.
There are approximately 8.7 million species of animals on the earth. All the animals in all those species (the ones that have hair, and the ones that don’t)—God knows them too. But that’s nothing. He determines the number of the stars and calls them each by name.3
There are nine planets in our solar system. Eight if you subtract Pluto. They orbit around the sun. The sun is a star in the Milky Way. The Milky Way has 200 billion more stars that are just like the sun. Planets and moons orbit around each of them too. God has a name for every one of them. In addition to that, there are 100 trillion galaxies in the universe, each with 200 billion stars.
My calculator just exploded, but let’s just say that’s a lot of stars and a lot of names. There are way more stars in the sky than hairs on human heads.
Every hair, every star … God knows them all. So is it possible that He knows your true identity?—Alex and Stephen Kendrick4
God knows me completely
“O LORD, you have searched me and you know me. You know when I sit and when I rise; you perceive my thoughts from afar. You discern my going out and my lying down; you are familiar with all my ways. Before a word is on my tongue you know it completely, O LORD. You hem me in—behind and before; you have laid your hand upon me. Such knowledge is too wonderful for me, too lofty for me to attain.”—Psalm 139:1–65
How well does God know me? He knows every detail of my life, every place I go, everything I do, everything I say—even before I speak it. What a net of safety! I can never be lost from God. And not only does he know me fully, he hems me in to protect me from harm. How marvelous and wonderful is our God.
This knowledge is so reassuring, except for one who might be inclined to behave in secret in ways he/she knows God would not approve. … The saddest part with this kind of thinking is that this person has such a small picture of who God is—the God who created him and knows what would make him/her a complete, whole, and satisfied person.
God does know us completely, even the shady details of our lives, but the best part is he still loves us!!! He died for us before we even tried to live for him. And he protects us. “This knowledge is too wonderful for me, too lofty for me to attain.” (Emphasis mine.)
Lord, you are so good to us, more than we could ever deserve. Help us to be more sensitive in our spirits so that we would never willfully choose to do anything that would displease you or hinder our witness. And when we do fail, help us to quickly confess our sin so our fellowship with you will be fully restored and complete.—Janice Green6
“How precious to me are your thoughts, God! How vast is the sum of them! Were I to count them, they would outnumber the grains of sand.”—Psalm 139:17–187
One late afternoon, I was taking a walk along the beach, when I looked up to find one of the most stunningly beautiful scenes taking shape before my eyes. Everything else faded into unimportance alongside this masterpiece developing before my eyes. I felt immersed in its beauty. It was as if the sunset were communicating God’s encouragement and love to me.
Finally, after what must have been fifteen minutes, but had seemed like mere moments, the grand display began to recede. Its glory slipped peacefully into the gentle mists of the evening to paint the world another day. As I stood there in the growing dusk, it struck me that this astoundingly glorious and impossibly complex show of power and beauty was a mere thought, a twinkle in the eye of God. It was only a tiny speck in the immensity of His abilities. If this small and fleeting moment stirred my soul like this and left me speechless with its awesome beauty, how could I possibly imagine or comprehend the Creator of it, who could gloriously splash the sky with such grandeur and wipe it clean in a moment, as if it was just His aura or atmosphere as He passed by.
We get so caught up sometimes in our earthbound realm, fretting and worrying that we are all alone in our troubles and have to try to solve them on our own. But at moments like this, the resounding reality that we are deeply loved by one who can explode the sky into such beauty with nothing more than a thought reminds me of just whom it is that I’m trusting in. What God said to me through that glorious heavenly art was, “I can sustain anything. I can solve any problem. I am beauty. I am power. I am love. And I do this for you.”
Times like this help me to remember that this same all-powerful One who creates such momentary grandeur for His creations is closely attuned to our tiniest needs and desires, guiding and caring for us in ways big and small. How could we ever worry that He might forget us, or that He might not be in absolute, perfect control of every detail of our lives?—Maria Fontaine
The spark of life
“You created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made, your works are wonderful. … My frame was not hidden from you when I was made in the secret place, when I was woven together in the depths of the earth. Your eyes saw my unformed body; all the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be.”—Psalm 139:13–168
There is a miracle beyond our comprehension that takes place daily. A sperm joins with an egg to form a single cell, smaller than a grain of salt. This one cell contains the complex genetic blueprint for every detail of human development, including the child’s gender, hair and eye color, height, skin tone, and much more.
Within four days, the fertilized egg has traveled into the womb. At three weeks, the foundations of the brain, spinal cord, and nervous system are established, and the heart begins to beat. At one month, arms, legs, eyes, and ears have begun to show. The heart is pumping blood through the circulatory system. By six weeks, the rapidly developing brain begins to control movement of muscles and organs.
At week nine, the developing life is now called a “fetus”—Latin for “young one.” At three months, the baby is perfectly formed. He has fingernails and toenails, and he can raise his eyebrows, wrinkle his forehead, and turn his head. At 16 weeks, the baby is a little over one-third the size he will be at birth. At five months, the baby’s hair, eyelashes, and nails are growing.
The rest of the time in the womb will be spent in preparation for birth, which is usually at 40 weeks, although nowadays babies born at even as little as 22 weeks have a chance of survival. Finally comes the grand exit from the security of the womb into the world. All of the possibilities, pleasures, and pains that life brings have begun for yet another human being.
How can a single cell grow into a fully formed baby in nine months? The process can be observed, but I can no more comprehend the spark that drives that process than I can comprehend the miraculous resurrection of Jesus.
But we don’t have to understand. We can simply rejoice in the wonderful gift of life that the Creator has bestowed upon us—life here in this world, and eternal life in the world beyond!—Marge Banks
Published on Anchor November 2022. Read by Jon Marc.
Music by John Listen.
2 Matthew 10:29–31 NIV.
3 Psalm 147:4 NIV.