Psalm 139:1-5, 13-18

You have searched me, Lord,    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, Lord, know it completely.You hem me in behind and before,    and you lay your hand upon 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.
As I read this Psalm I’m struck by two things: The wonder of God – who’s before and after all things, who hems me in on every side, who’s everywhere sustaining everything all the time; and how many days I move through life making my plans and accomplishing my goals (or rather attempting to!) keeping this awesome God in the background.

What David’s saying here though is that everything about your life is from God. It’s God who knit you together. It’s God who has ordained the number of breaths you will breathe. It’s God who knows you to the deepest core of your being – your every thought, every desire, everything that is you. Nothing about your life or mine is actually in our hands. But God isn’t some cruel puppet master. The one who’s lovingly formed you and set your life on its course is the one who gave his life for you.

Understanding that will shape how we think and feel about, and live, our lives won’t it? Your life and mine entirely belong to God. The lives of the people we see around us were formed entirely by God and for him. The pride of thinking or wishing that I’ve made something of myself is eradicated in place of humble trust of the one who holds my life in his hands, who gave his life for me. And when I trust him I’m free to begin loving those around me whose lives are from and for him too.

Head: What have you learnt from Psalm 139 about God? What have you learnt about yourself?

Heart: What’s causing you anxiety right now? How does knowing your life is completely formed and held by God from beginning to end make you feel? Does the cross of Jesus affect how you feel about that?

Hands: When you encounter someone who is anxious about their life situation, what is something you can do for them that points them to God’s love for them? It might be making a meal, or taking on some of their busy load, or offering them some hospitality. It might be to simply sit with them for a while.

Prayer: Heavenly Father, thank you that you’ve planned my life; that you’ve formed me and sustain me. I thank you that you see all of me and yet because of the cross you love and accept me. Forgive me for living with pride and enable me to live for you knowing that every day, every breath is from you and for you. Amen