I spent quite a long time yesterday staring at a Jersey cow. After a few minutes I decided that she was amazing. A thing of real beauty. Big and powerful, yet gentle and docile. With her lovely light chestnut skin and her kind and friendly face, I really enjoyed just watching her. She wasn’t doing very much – just doing what cows do – which apart from swishing flies with her tail mainly involved eating, in order to fill up her udders so she could produce that most fantastically rich Jersey milk and cream. I decided this fabulous cow was more than a simple farm animal. She was a tremendous feat of creation. More than just a random act of nature, there was something of the stamp of the Creator about her.
If that’s true of a cow, how much more is it true of human beings. Of me. And of you. Which is why the psalmist describes us as ‘fearfully and wonderfully made’ (Psalm 139:14). That means that God created you. He decided to make you and that you should be born. So you are unique. There is no-one like you. You are unique and bespoke. And, like the Jersey cow, you too are made for a purpose.
Later in the day I watched a movie with my two youngest children. It was Amazing Grace – about the life of William Wilberforce, the Yorshireman who tirelessly campaigned to abolish the slave trade. They got the gist of most of it and as they went to bed we talked about the film. Wilberforce discovered that he was made not to produce milk like a cow, but to worship God and enjoy his presence. (Sounds like the Westminster Catechism: ‘The chief end of man is to worship God and enjoy him forever’). And having realised that he was made for friendship with God, Wilberforce found he had a passion to make a difference in the world – and in particular to stand against injustice. As we talked about the film, we agreed that Wilberforce was an inspiration to us all. He knew he was created, loved, forgiven and called by God, and he obeyed the call.
God never makes anything by accident. The Jersey cow I observed earlier in the day only lives (I discovered) for around 2,100 days – and yet is made for a purpose. And so am I. And you. If you’re an average human being you’ll live for around 27,375 days. Not that long. So it’s good to know what you’re here for. You’ve been beautifully crafted by God to know him and to make a difference in the world for as long as you have breath, and then to go and spend eternity with him. You are fearfully and wonderfully made for that purpose.
As I wake up this morning I am thanking God that he made me. That he values me. And that he made me for a purpose. That’s true of you too. So enjoy his presence with you today and go – make a difference today in his name.