Psalm 139

For the director of music. Of David. A psalm.

 1 O LORD, you have searched me                      
       and you know me.

 2 You know when I sit and when I rise;
       you perceive my thoughts from afar.      

 3 You discern my going out and my lying down;
       you are familiar with all my ways.

 4 Before a word is on my tongue
       you know it completely, O LORD.

 5 You hem me in—behind and before;
       you have laid your hand upon me.

 6 Such knowledge is too wonderful for me,
       too lofty for me to attain.

 7 Where can I go from your Spirit?
       Where can I flee from your presence?

 8 If I go up to the heavens, you are there;
       if I make my bed in the depths, [a] you are there.

 9 If I rise on the wings of the dawn,
       if I settle on the far side of the sea,

 10 even there your hand will guide me,
       your right hand will hold me fast.

 11 If I say, “Surely the darkness will hide me
       and the light become night around me,”

 12 even the darkness will not be dark to you;
       the night will shine like the day,
       for darkness is as light to you.

 13 For you created my inmost being;
       you knit me together in my mother’s womb.

 14 I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
       your works are wonderful,
       I know that full well.

 15 My frame was not hidden from you
       when I was made in the secret place.
       When I was woven together in the depths of the earth,

 16 your eyes saw my unformed body.
       All the days ordained for me
       were written in your book
       before one of them came to be.

 17 How precious to [b] me are your thoughts, O God!
       How vast is the sum of them!

 18 Were I to count them,
       they would outnumber the grains of sand.
       When I awake,
       I am still with you.

 19 If only you would slay the wicked, O God!
       Away from me, you bloodthirsty men!

 20 They speak of you with evil intent;
       your adversaries misuse your name.

 21 Do I not hate those who hate you, O LORD,
       and abhor those who rise up against you?

 22 I have nothing but hatred for them;
       I count them my enemies.

 23 Search me, O God, and know my heart;
       test me and know my anxious thoughts.

 24 See if there is any offensive way in me,
       and lead me in the way everlasting.

I think I read this psalm 4 or 5 times when I was in Yuma this weekend.  I hadn’t read it in a while, but it just called to me both Saturday night and Sunday morning.  I was thinking about family both times it occurred to me to look it up and read it.  I was thinking that while it may be true that my parents did not plan for my arrival, nor probably look on it with happiness, that did not mean I was not meant to be.

This is something I struggled with a great deal when I was younger, and even somewhat as an adult–that the world was a place I was not supposed to be–something I still need assurance from God about what the truth of that is. 

Am I meant to be?

Do I belong here?

My friends would tell me yes. My sisters would, too.  I mean, I know they love me.  And as far as Jenny goes, I know very well what we mean to each other. 

I know those things now.

And I know the truth of whether or not I belong.

But there was a time when I did not feel that way.  There was a time when I felt without purpose, without ties, without much at all to keep me here other than just stubbornness.

I needed to feel parented, and not just by my sisters–though they were nothing less than extraordinary in that regard, and all three of them had lots of their own stuff going on. 

And they still looked to me, and made sure I had what I needed.

They taught me a lot, but it is still not the same.

I needed to know my value as a son, and not just a brother, or friend, or any other way.

I needed to know my value as a son.

I learned much about that over time.  I learned what my true value was, and began to feel something of what it was to be valued a price above rubies.

I learned that I was loved enough that someone would die for me before I even existed. 

I learned that I was known.

And after years of resting in that love, of beginning to realize that I was not walking alone, I found this…collection of blessings.  I think the first time I ever read it was when I heard someone quote from it during a Healing Prayer session a year or two ago. 

It called to me then, too.  It offers so much assurance, so much comfort.  I think if I had to point to a single bit of scripture that offerred me the most solace in life, it would be this. 

 When I feel lost, or apart from God in some way.  When I feel alone:

7 Where can I go from your Spirit?
       Where can I flee from your presence?

 8 If I go up to the heavens, you are there;
       if I make my bed in the depths, [a] you are there.

 9 If I rise on the wings of the dawn,
       if I settle on the far side of the sea,

 10 even there your hand will guide me,
       your right hand will hold me fast.

If I allow myself to become lost in the world,  If I run from Heaven toward darkness, and try to hide myself from God’s face, when I begin to feel safe in the shadows:

 11 If I say, “Surely the darkness will hide me
       and the light become night around me,”

 12 even the darkness will not be dark to you;
       the night will shine like the day,
       for darkness is as light to you.

And most of all, when I think about what it was like to feel unwanted, or unplanned, or even unloved, I can turn to this, and know the truth.  Last night was my turn to get prayer in my group, and that issue came up, in the context of a particular instance from my childhood.  This was where God took me, and it made sense then that I had been reading this all weekend.  God had been preparing me:

13 For you created my inmost being;
       you knit me together in my mother’s womb.

 14 I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
       your works are wonderful,
       I know that full well.

 15 My frame was not hidden from you
       when I was made in the secret place.
       When I was woven together in the depths of the earth,

 16 your eyes saw my unformed body.
       All the days ordained for me
       were written in your book
       before one of them came to be.

I can see why people turn to this scripture when they’re talking about when life begins.  It begins with God.

I feel like that’s when my life really began, and when I think about the moment I felt Jesus for the first time, I can understand something of what it means when people say “born again.”

I had a dream a couple of years ago, after a particularly moving healing prayer session.  I don’t normally remember my dreams, but this one has stayed with me, and I have a feeling it will continue to. 

I was standing on dock, the very one where I had first invited Jesus to speak to me, to take my burdens, and to enter my life.  It was dark, and I could hear music playing.  I could smell meat cooking on a grill.

I could hear laughter.

I was conscious of Jesus standing beside me, even though I could not see Him.  I heard a noise, and when I looked down, I saw the man that had been myself that night kneeling on the rough wood of the dock with his head hanging down.  He was crying, and praying, and crying out to Jesus.

Did I really do this? I asked myself. 

And in the dream, Jesus answered.  “Child, this is when you were born.”

So as much as I’ve tried to hide from God over the years, as much as I’ve attempted to deny the truth of myself, as much as I have questioned my belonging on this earth, even to the extent of wondering if God really hadn’t made some cosmic “whoops” when I came to be, the truth of all those things is this, and I can’t hide from it, or deny it:

All the days ordained for me
       were written in your book
       before one of them came to be.

My life was given me by God, through my parents.  It has meaning.  It has purpose.  It was meant to be.

There is a plan.

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Author: twilk68

God has changed my life, and changed me. It's that simple. I will ever be grateful, and if I live to be...well, OLD, I will never tire of telling people about the work done in my life, and what can be done in theirs, should they trust God with their innermost everything...

1 thought on “Psalm 139”

  1. Hmm…yet another similarity! Check out my Myspace page. I’ve had Ps. 139 posted for quite sometime, for most of the same reasons you wrote about. This scripture has been with me through a lot of hard times, and means a lot to me. Rebecca St. James has an old school song about this scripture.

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