To Be Fearfully Made
Nov 02, 2020
A friend of mine recently asked me what I thought the word “fearfully” meant. She was thinking about the phrase “I am fearfully and wonderfully made.” I thought it was a great question because to be honest, I tripped over this question about 10 years ago and decided it meant awesomely. If you’ve ever attended one of our courses, or read one of my books, you may have seen this as our tag line: “I am awesomely and wonderfully made.”
I replaced fearfully with awesomely because In my heart, I knew fearfully couldn’t mean anything negative, it couldn’t mean fear. So I swapped it with what I thought must be the meaning: awesomely. When my friend asked this question the other day, I realized I may have been close, but I think I still missed the mark.
So, what does it mean to be fearfully made?
This is what I think, I think the author of the original phrase was enamored with both his Creator and his design. I also think he was expressing a depth of meaning in a language that the English language just can’t capture.
“...I am fearfully and wonderfully made.”
The author was smitten.
He goes on to say, “Marvelous are your works and this my soul knows very well.”
I think the word “fearfully”, as it was used, is the English language’s attempt in trying to explain the dance of awe, beauty, holiness, power, and love. It’s almost beyond words and too great to describe. BUT, it is the absence of actual fear, it cannot mean anything to do with fear. It’s pure beauty, respect, awe, creativity, and wonder. It’s the joyful awareness of an unimaginable, marvelous work of art.
The author is singing a song expressing his joy and appreciation of the beauty and wonder that he is. He knows he is The Work of Art. He knows this very well.
And he’s right, and he should be joyful. He knows something powerful.
Can you imagine the joy and excitement of realizing that you are amazing? What would life be like if you knew you were masterfully crafted, or miraculously designed, or thoroughly thought out from beginning to end. What if you knew you were fearfully made? Would you become smitten? Would you be enamored?
The point is, the author knows something about himself and about creation that you should know: you are the dance of awe, beauty, holiness, power, respect, creativity, love, and wonder. You are a marvelous work of art. That’s the truth. Marinate on it and notice what your heart tells you. Let yourself be smitten by the wonder that you are.
After all, you are fearfully and wonderfully made.
Thank you, Nadine.