the act of repeating; a repetition.
1. Also called successive approximation. A problem-solving or computational method in which a succession of approximations, each building on the one preceding, is used to achieve a desired degree of accuracy.
2. an instance of the use of this method.
3. a repetition of a statement or statements in a computer program.
4. a different version of an existing data set, software program,
hardware device, etc.: A new iteration of the data will be released next month. a different form or version of something: He designed the previous iteration of our logo. a development strategy that involves a cyclical process of refining or tweaking the latest version of a product, process, or idea to make a subsequent version: Our startup is relying on rapid iteration in the next software development cycle.
One day, not too long ago, I had a eureka moment. I thought about all of the pairs of people that God had created and given life to long enough to get to me. I was blown away when I thought about it. Basically, I tried to configure (or to factor, mathematically) a virtual family tree: me (and my siblings – all girls), my 2 parents, my 4 grandparents, my 8 great grandparents, my 16 great great grandparents, my 32 great great great grandparents, my 64 great great great great grandparents and so on. I realized that God had made a whole lot of people to get to me. And not just me, God has made a whole lot of people to each one of you. God has made a whole lot of people to get to everyone who is alive today. It’s mind blowing. And don’t forget about the extended family, including those who are not biologically kin – foster parents, stepparents, adoption parents, guardians, family friends, and so on.
We are iterations, if you will, of so many current lives and previous lives lived. Based on the definition of the word iteration, we are successive approximations created to achieve a desired degree of accuracy. Each of us is a different version of an existing or preexisting data set of people.
Think about the people from Adam to you ... to us. Then, consider the attention to detail given to creating each person and the expansive amount of time attached to all of the lives lived. It’s simply too amazing to fully comprehend! And to think that each of them had his and her own individual lives with all its complexities. God orchestrated that each set of parents would meet, no matter the circumstance - wed or unwed, rich or poor, slave or free, good relationships or bad relationships, and come together to create every person that has come before you. What a picture of such an elaborate fabric of life! And now we are a part of that life line for others. It’s just too fantastic to wrap our minds around.
So it goes, that your life means something.
Our lives mean something.
Every life means something.
Our lives have value.
How great it would be if everybody that has been born
and will be born knew that from day one.
What kind of world would this be?
One can only imagine.
And no matter what occurs in our lives, good or bad, our lives don’t lose value in the sight of God. He loves us no matter what. Genesis 1:26 - 28 and John 3:16 are magnified just that much more with this epiphany. Really, all of God’s Word is magnified by this revelation.
Genesis 1:26 – 28 (NIV)
26 Then God said, “Let us make mankind in our image, in our likeness, so that they may rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky, over the livestock and all the wild animals, and over all the creatures that move along the ground.”
27 So God created mankind in his own image,
in the image of God he created them;
male and female he created them.
28 God blessed them and said to them, “Be fruitful and increase in number; fill the earth and subdue it. Rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky and over every living creature that moves on the ground.”
John 3:16 (NIV)
16 For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.
We are all God-made in His very image (Imago Dei), everyone who was alive, who is alive, and who will be alive. The love of God for all of us is made evident through what He has given us through Christ. God loves the people He made. We have great value, and we matter and are very important to our Creator, to our Savior, to our Redeemer. So, let us live like it every day, encouraging one another. Let this be one of the good things you think about on a regular basis, especially when your mind and emotions try to veer you off path (Philippians 4:8).
Philippians 4:8 (NIV)
8 Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.
Another verse that is enormously magnified now is “Honor your father and your mother, so that you may live long in the land the Lord your God is giving you (Exodus 20:12 NIV).
Thank you, LORD, for my parents! Thank you, LORD, for every great to great
… great grandparent and everyone one involved in making their lives possible.
Thank you, God, for all parents, biological and non-biological.
LORD, YOU astound me, and I praise YOU for it! I am grateful for the life you given
me and for the lives of everyone else around me, known and unknown. Thank
you for loving us enough to make us in your image and enough to save us from
our sins. Teach me/us to love one another and all people the way you do.
In Jesus’ Name, Amen.