Tuesday, November 15, 2011

What If God Spoke Psalm 139 To You?

The Psalms, as you know, is a book of songs and prayers. When we're weary and sad, when grief weighs down our mind and makes putting our own words to phrases too difficult, the Psalms steps in and speak on our behalf. Open it almost anywhere and find laments for the bad days and praises for the days we understand.
But have you ever wondered what God might say to you, personally, in the Psalms? I recently took a look at Psalm 139, my long-time favorite. The phrases familiar, the heart cries always genuine and fitting, its rich truth has nourished and sustained me like a long-time friend.
I've spoken this psalm to God many times. But what, I wondered, would it be like, if God replied?
The words that follow are my paraphrase of the Lord's response to my personal Psalm 139.
I hope you'll feel the voice of the Lord saying them to you as much as I have.

Dear child,
     I have searched you. I do know you.
I know when you sit and when you rise;
I perceive your thoughts even when you're far away from Me.
    I understand your going out and your need to lie down;
I'm familiar with all your ways and habits.
I even know the words you'll speak before they come out of your mouth.
I have hemmed you in--behind you and in front of you.
     My hand is on your shoulder, but you don't always know this.
Such knowledge is too wonderful for you, and too lofty for any human mind to attain.
I am always with you. Where could you go from My Spirit?
Where could you flee from My presence?
     If you ascend to the stars of the heavens, I am there;
if you descend to the deepest pits of the earth--if you make your bed in the depths--I am there.
     If you rise on the wings of the dawn, flying away to settle on the far side of the sea,
even there My hand will guide you. My right hand will hold you fast and secure.
     If you say, “Surely this darkness will hide me from God's sight, for my loss and despair snuff out the light of day; light has turned to night around me--!"
Even that dark night of the soul will not be dark to Me;
The night shines bright like the day---I see you clearly, My child.
Darkness is as light to Me. I see, I care, I love.
     For I created your inmost being; I knit you together in your mother’s womb. You are fearfully and wonderfully made; I'm fully confident of your quality; My works are wonderful---and you are one of them---I know that full well.
     I saw your frame at the very inception of your life. I wove together your DNA molecules as they formed your body in the pre-born soft darkness deep inside your mother.
     I have ordained each and every one of your days. I've written them in My book about you. I wrote them all out before you ever existed. I know your whole story. I see beyond today's pain-filled page to the chapters of hope and happiness that await. Your husband is safe and secure in My arms. He knows, too, that it will be worth it all when you turn the page and see how I've worked all these things together for your good.
     Yet there's the emptiness, the anger, the mistrust, the fear you've been betrayed . . .  I know. I let my Son go through that, too. And then He was raised to life! Only believe. Be still. Watch and wait.
     Aren't these thoughts of My watchcare, interest and love for you precious and vast?
     If we were to add them up they would light your dark grief like the the sparkling points of a city at night. To count them would be like trying to number the grains of sand on the seashore.
     Sleep well, my loved one.
     When you awake, I am still with you.
More than words can say, I'm thankful God is with me.

4 comments:

  1. Thank you so much for your stunning rendition of Psalm 139! I didn't expect the tears it would inspire. I was especially touched by your precious wording starting with:"I have ordained each and every one of your days" and on through the end of your post!I am so thankful that God knows and loves us so perfectly! God bless you for this beautiful reminder!
    Hugs, Renee'

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  2. Thank you so much for posting Psalm that way, it was just what I need to read today. I rest in knowing that God knows my pain, grief and suffering but is there to lift me up!

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  3. I don't think I was familiar with Psalm 139 until shortly before or after Michael's passing. I know it was well-taught in Grief Share. It has given me great comfort since then just understanding that those were the number of Michael's days. Nothing else anyone could have done would change that.

    I love how you have worded this! Someday, we will actually hear the voice of our Lord speak his truth to us. :)

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  4. quieting ... beautiful ... thank you

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