Psalm 139

The Grace in Who We Are

Psalm 139 is precious to me. If you’ve read it, you may have found a deep personal connection to it as well. Recently I’ve been turning something over in my mind when it comes to my identity, and that brought me back to this psalm.

Most of the time it’s not difficult to imagine the All-knowing God having knowledge and awareness of people and events. Omniscience seems easy to attribute to the One who made all things and rose from the dead, frankly. I’ve spent decades studying the Bible, and His power is written all over every page. The last twenty years have been full of gratefulness because I’ve grasped more of the incredible love Jesus offered to everyone at the cross.

But there’s a precious distinction between “knowing all things” and “knowing everything about me.” This is where it gets personal. In nineteen years of marriage, I see my husband has intimate knowledge of much of me. Compared to his knowledge, my Abba’s is overwhelmingly more detailed and deep!

1 You have searched me, LORD, 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…
 My husband is aware of my obvious movements in the house (when he’s in the same room) and he knows the events of my day (when I tell him the story). But God is perfectly aware of every detail in my day. Waking, breakfast, chauffeur trips, errands, lunch, online classes, writing projects, doctor appointments, and dinner. When I pull the sheets to my chin late at night, He knows that, too. What He sees is more than observing me as an actor on His stage, though. (I imagine this as the “with me” in Immanuel.)Ps. 139:1-3; 15-18
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 me are your thoughts, 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…

Long before I had conscious thought or memory—when cells were dividing at near instant speed—His eyes were watching. But He wasn’t a casual observer. My Abba Father was intimately involved in the process, creating and remembering every precious detail of His creation: my fuzzy black-brown hair, blue-green eyes, the birthmark on my right arm, and my ten fingers and toes. At the same time my whole lifespan lay before Him. He saw the cells dividing and new heart beating while intimately knowing the emotional highs and lows my brain would try to grasp, which toes would be broken, and the very last breath my lungs would draw. (Can you wrap your head around that? I sure struggle to!)

He knew I would live so many days trying to figure out who I was, who I was created to be, and why I existed. He waited, patient and excited, for the day I would pick up the colored pencils and discover what He’d always known—that, with Him, I can draw beautiful things. He knew I would be the thinker who wrestles with heady concepts in a “hack” sort of way, hopes to grasp who He is deeply, and lives in her head. Yeah, all that and the stuff I haven’t begun to discover about me.

He holds the key to my identity, and I get more clues to who I am every time I focus on who He is (revealing all the similarities and differences) or when I partner with Him in any of the amazing things He wants to accomplish in and through me. (Have you thought of how you partner with Him, too?)

So where do I land with Psalm 139?

With my Abba’s intimate knowledge of me, it only makes sense that I ask Him to show me who I am and how He’s wired the inner workings of my soul. Pairing that knowledge with His infinite wisdom is my only choice. He knows me, the entire timeline of my life, and the potential and purpose threaded through all of it.

Life with purpose. I want that, and He promised I could have it. But how do I “do” that kind of life?

I think David says it perfectly!

 23 Search me, 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.

The psalm wraps up with godly wisdom. I’ll ask God to examine my heart and mind, to lead me in choices that are good, true, noble, and excellent—the most excellent! (Philippians 4:8)

So that’s me, but it’s you, too! Think about it. He was intimately involved in who you are and your life, as well. What do you think about that?

I’d love to hear your thoughts! Comment below, at the Facebook page, or on Twitter.