Speaking of Michael Phelps

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Did you know you were a great swimmer? Well, half of you at least.  Let me clarify.

I recently had my 3rd child.  

Our third boy!  I will let that sink in.

After bringing him home from the hospital, I began to think about the miracle of human life.

It starts with a race of single cells known as sperm. Hundreds of millions of them enter this race.  Once released into this race they must travel 4 inches from the cervix to Fallopian tubes. That may not seem like much but in relationship to their size that distance would be like a grown adult swimming from LA to Tahiti.  A distance of 4,000 miles.

To make matters worse, these swimmers face big obstacles along the way. The climate these swimmers experience is one of acidity. Once through the cervix they must choose between two paths (Fallopian tubes) one has the egg and one has nothing. These sperm then travel up the Fallopian tubes upstream being beaten by cilia finger-like structures. Then when the egg is in sight it has its own bodyguards known as the white blood cells. The job of these white cells is to keep the egg safe from foreign objects, viciously attacking them. By the end of it, only a handful reach the outer shell of the egg and have a chance of fertilizing it.

And, with that, we have day one.

Over the course of the next 40 weeks, an amazing thing happens.

First, the two cells become one. This creates a brand new DNA sequence that has never existed before.

This DNA sequence will create every cell in the body. This is around two trillion cells.  

If you do the math, the cells must divide 41 times.  1 cell divides to 2…2 cells divide to 4…4 cells divide to 8.  

From week 5 of pregnancy to week 10, some incredible things happen: the nervous system develops, (which includes the brain, spinal cord and nerves). The baby’s facial features begin to take shape, the baby’s arms and legs start to bud and form (including the fingers and toes). Baby’s sexual organs form, and muscles and movement begin to happen during these weeks.

Over the next weeks, the heart, stomach, lungs, ears, eyes, kidneys, and liver form.

As I look at my baby I realize this isn’t just a one time miracle but along this journey of pregnancy every second is a miracle. Every division of cells is a miracle. Every nerve firing, every touch, and every sound is a miracle.  

Psalm 139:14 I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;

   your works are wonderful, I know that full well.

You, me, and my new baby might never win a gold medal in the Olympics but we already won one race. A four inch journey through treacherous terrain. And the God who formed and kept you during that time is still keeping and forming you into the image of Jesus.  Be encouraged!

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