There was a time when Psalm 139 was absolutely my favorite Psalm. The idea of being handcrafted by the God of the universe was utterly inspiring to me. It gave a sort of foundation to my entire person that provided such a sense of purpose.
Psalm 139: 13-16
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.
Running right along side my healthy appreciation for God’s creativity in fashioning each of us (and especially me) so uniquely and wonderfully, was a kind of unhealthy pride.
Quick flashback to me reading Psalm 139 – age 20.
“I do praise you Lord for how you’ve made me. Thank you for all the pretty darn cool gifts you have given me. Great voice, nice eyes, A average, ability to lead some gals in Bible study… You must have been pretty happy with your end result Lord – and all the days ordained for me – holy cow. I bet they are jammed packed with success, wealth, and one very hunky husband. Great work Lord. Amen.”
It probably goes without saying, that season of prideful self-righteousness is very much over, although the Lord did give me one very hunky hubby. (Thank you Lord!) For proof, go here. I’m not sure exactly what happened to take the wind out of my sails, but when I read that same Psalm now, my thoughts are something more like this…
“Lord, what a sorry little creation I am. You gave me all the potential, and I squandered and squished myself into something I’m sure is unrecognizable to you. Your creations are wonderful, I know that full well. I mean, just look at So and So and So and So. They are amazing. It’s no wonder they are doing so well. And SO and SO. Holy Cow. She has got it all. When I was being made in the secret place, did you already know how disappointing I would be? Was it then that you authored these days for me, full of failure and insignificance?”
So, there you have the first two layers of my Psalm 139 sandwich, one piece of yummy white bread with a heaping pile of junk spread all over it. Last night, I was trying to argue with myself a bit and I realized my sandwich was not quite finished. There was one more layer to add.
The truth is, part of my thinking from way back when is true and part of my pile of junk thinking is true too. God did do a work of wonder in creating me. And it’s also true that my fallen nature and this fallen world has warped it in many ways. But there is another truth.
The other truth is that God not only knew this would be the case, He sent Jesus to help me live through these years of brokenness, and to restore me to my “original design,” so to speak. There is hope for today and for tomorrow. Today, I can release my brokenness to Him through confession and receive forgiveness. I can ask for His help in changing in areas that grieve the both of us. I can also trust that all the days ordained for me will result in my redemption. I will be like Him, which will be the best me I could possibly ask for.
It’s work to keep that eternal perspective in the day in and day out of being a mother of three young children. There are lots of mirrors around me that often reflect back a fairly warped identity, but Psalm 139 is one crystal clear, true mirror I have found – again.