January 17, 2021

January 17, 2021

January 17, 2021

Psalm 139:1-6, 13-18
Joe Lobertini
Laity
Middlebrook Pike UMC
Tennessee Valley District

Psalm 139:1-6, 13-18

The Inescapable God

 

1          O LORD, you have searched me and known me.

2          You know when I sit down and when I rise up; 

            you discern my thoughts from far away.

3          You search out my path and my lying down, 

            and are acquainted with all my ways.

4          Even before a word is on my tongue, O LORD, you know it completely.

5          You hem me in, behind and before, and lay your hand upon me.

6          Such knowledge is too wonderful for me; it is so high that I cannot attain it.

13        For it was you who formed my inward parts;

            you knit me together in my mother's womb.

14        I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. 

           Wonderful are your works; that I know very well.

15        My frame was not hidden from you, when I was being made in secret,

             intricately woven in the depths of the earth.

16        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.

17        How weighty to me are your thoughts, O God! How vast is the sum of them!

18        I try to count them -- they are more than the sand; 

            I come to the end -- I am still with you.

Devotion

During personal hard times, I often think that no one knows what I am really going through, and no one knows how I feel. What’s worse is the thought that no one may even care. However, God knows exactly and always cares. God always knows how I feel and think. This is a comfort to me, and yet, I often wonder why it is so easy for me to forget during hard times. When I look back over my life, without remembering God’s love, I remember fear, pain, and loss. When I look back and remember God’s love however, I remember time after time when God carried me through and across places and events that I did not have the personal strength to endure. Quite a difference in experience when I change the perspective.

Many years ago, today’s Bible verse came to life for me in a McDonald’s restaurant, written on the back of a t-shirt. I was in college, feeling lost and alone, not sure of who I was or what my future would be. Full of doubts and insecurities, I felt I had nowhere to turn and no one to trust. No one seemed to understand my worries. I worked with the college career center, talked to advisors and friends, but nothing seemed to bring me peace. On a whim, I went to the local McDonald’s for breakfast, and noticed the t-shirt of the person in front of me in line. 

Written on the shirt was Psalm 139:13, “For it was you who formed my inward parts; you knit me together in my mother's womb.” This message was staggering. At that instant, the depth of God’s awareness of and love for me became real and practical.  God knew me. God knew me. I felt as if a bucket of cold water had been poured on my head. I went home and began to pray for guidance and direction. I remembered that I did not know what the future held, but I knew Who held the future. Again, quite a difference when I changed the perspective. 

My goal for 2021 is to keep the perspective of my experiences focused on the Creator, who not only made me, but who knows my words before I speak them. I am never alone, or forgotten, or uncared for. I don’t have to wonder if anyone cares, knows, or understands. God knows me. And God knows you. I wish for you a happy and healthy 2021. May we, together, keep our perspectives turned to our heavenly Father, and not forget that God knows when we “sit down and rise up” and “discerns” our thoughts. Amen.

Prayer

Dear Heavenly Creator,

Help me to remember that You are always with me, and that when I feel distant from you, I have been the one to move away, not You. Help me to keep looking at the experiences of my life through Your perspective, not my own. Please hold Your people together so that they can uplift and support each other in this new year. We are not alone. You know us. Thank you.

Author

Daily Devotional