June 23rd was National Belly Button Day, and belly buttons really don’t get the attention they deserve! I know I missed it even though I carry one with me everywhere I go. So, have you ever really thought about your belly button and all that it means?
Basically a healed scar from when the umbilical cord was cut and tied after delivery, the belly button is a reminder of who we are, where we come from, and the importance of caring for all during all stages of life.
Mothers began mothering as the umbilical cord shared nutrients allowing the baby to mature and grow until delivery. In a necessary first step to interdependence outside the womb, the cord is cut with a small piece left behind which falls off in about seven days. Tah-dah! It fits perfectly to have a scar to remind you of your travels so far.
Nine months is the usual travel time to birth. Too many, though, have forgotten to honor these travels prior to and after the scar of their belly button.
Take a moment to live in the awe of that scar. Yes, I meant awe – as in “a feeling of reverential respect mixed with fear or wonder.” Have you ever thought you didn’t get where you are alone? How many things could’ve gone wrong? How many different things had to go right?
If you are you, then you were there once. You were in a woman’s womb being nourished for continued growth through gestation.
But let’s dig deeper into a time before your belly button appeared to discover who you are.
The Bible says clearly we are fearfully and wonderfully made in the image of the Creator Himself (See Genesis 2:7, Psalm 139:14). We are not evolved from beasts of the field but are made separate from them. Evolution? It is an unproven theory from science – which can’t accurately forecast the weather we see two to five days ahead yet bamboozles us by attempting to accurately prove we evolved by chance over supposed millions of years in the past. I love science. I hate it when science is used improperly and without logic.
Remember, though, you also were a baby once, so the blessing continues. Psalm 139:13-16 obviously shows David recognized we are created in His image:
For you formed my inward parts; you knitted me together in my mother's womb. I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works; my soul knows it very well. My frame was not hidden from you, when I was being made in secret, intricately woven in the depths of the earth. Your eyes saw my unformed substance; in your book were written, every one of them, the days that were formed for me, when as yet there was none of them.
God’s eyes saw the day you would be born. God’s eyes see the day you will die. This is where awe really belongs.
Give praise where praise is due – to the Lord God who loves you more than you can imagine from prior to your birth until even now. In fact, Jesus used the idea of a second birth to show the restoration of a relationship that had been severed in Eden because God’s holiness cannot be in the presence of sin.
A spiritual ruler of the Jews, Nicodemus, said to Jesus, “Rabbi, we know that you are a teacher come from God, for no one can do these signs that you do unless God is with him.” (The conversation is in John 3:1-15.)
“Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born again,” Jesus said, “he cannot see the kingdom of God.”
Nicodemus wanted more. “How can a man be born when he is old? Can he enter a second time into his mother’s womb and be born?”
Nicodemus was seeking and wouldn’t give up. God loves those who seek Him with their whole hearts (Jeremiah 29:13, Deuteronomy 4:29, Psalm 9:9-10). James 1:5 reminds us of how God provides to seekers, “If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you.”
Jesus says in verses 14-15 about this new birth, “And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, so must the Son of Man be lifted up, that whoever believes in him may have eternal life.”
Their conversation precedes one of the most known verses in the Bible, John 3:16, “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish, but have eternal life.”
The next words out of Jesus’ mouth probably made Nicodemus’ heart jump first with joy and then with fear as he compared himself to a holy God’s standards. He knew the Ten Commandments and many other laws. He knew he failed at many of them despite being a spiritual leader.
“For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him.” Ahhh, the joy of John 3:17.
“Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only Son of God.” Oh, the rollercoaster of joy and fear of John 3:18 which connects directly to Matthew 10:28-33 and Matthew 7:21-23.
So I hope you won’t get tied in a knot when I bring these thoughts about belly buttons and life to a close. God desires none to perish, but He wants all to come to repentance (2 Peter 3:9).
“If we despise the justice of God,” wrote R.C. Sproul in The Holiness of God, “we are not Christians.”
Everyone needs a provision to re-establish a relationship with God, but we didn't always know it. God’s justice has to either fall on you or a substitution for you.
There are two odd things here to me.
First, God’s love for the world is shown through the provision of Jesus’ suffering on the cross for all the sins of the world. This is such a serious topic.
Second, is the thought, “How did we end up here when we started with belly buttons?” which didn’t seem like a serious topic at all.
That scar is a reminder of how we were once completely dependent upon and being shaped by God’s provision, whether we knew it or not. I was reminded of our dependence on God and His provision through Jesus’ wounded hands, feet, and side. We are fully dependent on His provision to receive salvation, yet we are interdependent to work with Him through the Holy Spirit in our lives as a sign of who we are, where we came from, and where we’re going.
Jesus, like us, went from womb to tomb. But He rose again so that by Him and through Him we can be in a restored relationship to give glory to a holy, just, and loving God.
Worthy are you, our Lord and God, to receive glory and honor and power, for you created all things, and by your will they existed and were created (Revelation 4:11).
So don't wait any longer if you haven't been born again because 2 Corinthians 6:2 says, “Behold, now is the favorable time; behold, now is the day of salvation.” If you can stand in awe of God and what He has done for you through Jesus, if you will look upon him as Lord and Savior, then I know you will be eternally glad you did. I promise you that all of this is more than my gut feeling.