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Lenten Devotions from Fourth Presbyterian Church

Saturday, September 14, 2019           

Today’s Scripture Reading | Psalm 139:1–6, 13–18

O Lord, you have searched me and known me.
You know when I sit down and when I rise up;
   you discern my thoughts from far away.
You search out my path and my lying down,
   and are acquainted with all my ways.
Even before a word is on my tongue,
   O Lord, you know it completely.
You hem me in, behind and before,
   and lay your hand upon me.
Such knowledge is too wonderful for me;
   it is so high that I cannot attain it.

For it was you who formed my inward parts;
   you knit me together in my mother’s womb.
I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made.
   Wonderful are your works;
that I know very well.
   My frame was not hidden from you,
when I was being made in secret,
   intricately woven in the depths of the earth.
Your eyes beheld my unformed substance.
In your book were written
   all the days that were formed for me,
   when none of them as yet existed.
How weighty to me are your thoughts, O God!
   How vast is the sum of them!
I try to count them—they are more than the sand;
   I come to the end—I am still with you. (NRSV)

There are times when I read this psalm and find it to be a bit (OK, sometimes more than a bit) unnerving. I think about my friends, my family, and people I encounter on a regular basis—do they truly know me? Do I truly know them? I’m sure that we all have both past and current thoughts and stories that we choose to keep hidden deep down inside and away from others.

This psalm tells us that God knows everything about us. God knows when we will sit and when we will stand. God knows what we are going to say before we say it. We can never escape from God. To think that God knows every single little detail, each thought that pops into my head—that’s a bit scary! That snarky comment that I just made about someone to a friend of mine? God expected it. How about my lousy attitude that just showed up? God saw that one coming, too. None of it caught God off guard. No surprises here.

Even though this can be an anxiety-inducing psalm for me, it can also be one of tremendous comfort, knowing that God’s loving arms are around me at all times, even when I’m not being very patient and loving with those around me. We can find great reassurance in understanding that God knows us beyond our comprehension, that God knows our past, our present, and our future, and gives us endless grace and love.

Dear God, I know that I do not always think, speak, or act with a kind heart, yet you still surround me with your love and grace. Thank you for being with me through every situation, past, present, and future. Amen.

Written by Briana Belding-Peck, Family Ministry Coordinator

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