"O Lord, you have searched me and you know me. You know when I sit and when I rise; you perceive my thoughts from afar. You discern my going out and my lying down; you are familiar with all my ways. Before a word is on my tongue you know it completely, O Lord."
Sometimes I look back over my day and I replay every action, conversation, and email, and I beat myself up for not doing it as well as I could have. I try to think how I would have done it differently and how I failed at this and what people are going to think and how I'm going to do better next time. What a comfort and relief it is to know that God knows all that is within me - the good, bad, and very, very ugly - and he has not left me yet. My co-workers may look down on me if I drop the ball, and people in my life may think less of me when I mess up, but God knows everything I have done in a day - including every word and thought and movement, and he still loves me.
You hem me in - behind and before; you have laid your hand upon me. Such knowledge is too wonderful for me, too lofty to attain.
This is probably my favorite part. I'm someone who loves comfort, who used to be tucked into my bed each night by my parents. What a wonderful image of our God who goes behind us and before us and tucks us in-between since we can not be trusted to go off on our own. Thankfully, he will never leave us. He will always prepare a way for us and then follow behind to help us, comfort us, and clean up our messes. This part of the Psalm became very real for me last week when I went to Detroit, Michigan for four days to train a team of English teachers at a school there. How I got there is completely God's doing - he orchestrated connections and relationships in my life that have taken me places I never thought I'd go. As I looked out my hotel window in Detroit across the river to Canada, I marveled at how I had gotten there solely by God's doing. It became clear that God had gone before me even there in Michigan. The whole trip felt right, as if it were all planned out before I came to be, which I know is true. I loved the teachers and administration, and the training went smoothly. They are even opening a "YES" school there which I was unaware of - I visited and it was like walking into my school in Houston - exactly the same. How marvelous is our God. I would never think to ask or even imagine that God would put a YES school in Michigan and then send me there, but he did it all the same.
Where can I go from your spirit? Where can I flee from you presence? If I go up to the heavens, you are there; if I make my bed in the depths, you are there. If I rise on the wings of the dawn, if I settle on the far side of the sea, even there your hand will guide me, your right hand will hold me fast.
Weather I wander physically all over the country or mentally when Satan makes me despair, God is with me. There is NO WHERE I can go where he will not be. What a wonderful thought to have every day of my life.
If I say, "Surely the darkness will hide me and the light become night around me", even the darkness will not be dark to you; the night will shine like the day, for darkness is as light to you.
What seems like the darkest situation to me is light to God. There is NOTHING he can't handle - he's teaching me to go to him with the littlest requests for my job all the way to major life decisions. How comforting that even the evil of this world can be used for good because it it is all light to God.
For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother's womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; you works are wonderful, I know that full well. 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, your eyes saw my unformed body.
If I feel guilty that I didn't workout or I ate an extra helping of dinner or realize I will NEVER look like the girl on the cover of Shape magazine, it doesn't matter. God has made me exactly how he wanted to make me, and nothing I can do (or NOT do) can change that.
All the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be.
The beauty of this verse almost leaves me breathless. Nothing I can do will thwart God's plan for my life. God has planned works in advance for me to do. All I have to do is walk in his word.
How precious to me are your thoughts, O God! How vast is the sum of them! Were I to count them, they would outnumber the grains of sand. When I awake, I am still with you.
This is the part of the psalm that fills my eyes with tears every time. The creator of the universe, the holy Lord of all the Earth thinks of ME more times than there are grains of sand. This brings a great satisfaction to my soul that I can hardly express. So maybe I got a negative comment on a survey about my work or maybe I'm not recognized for something I do, or maybe I feel lonely, or maybe I totally messed up and I want to hide. None of that matters because no matter what I've done, God thinks of me and he loves me. And when tomorrow comes, his mercies will be new and I will still be with him.
I praise you, Lord, for your wonderful, beautiful, and true word.
If you haven't checked out Psalm 139, I highly recommend it. It's a good one :-)