Friday, January 26, 2018
Several years ago, after two days of ministry to someone in need, God directed me to this Psalm. He who holds all of creation in His hands and who knows all things from beginning to end, ordered my steps to arrive at this Psalm on that day. It amazed me, and as a result I wrote the following.
God is beyond our comprehension, yet He comprehends us. He who knows all knows us. He who takes care of everything cares for us. He who is everywhere always is wherever we are always. His thoughts are about us. His actions are for us. His hands that hold the world also cradle the tiniest and most delicate baby.
I had spent two days at the Minneapolis Children’s Hospital with a young man who at that time was our church’s worship minister. Complications developed during the birth of his daughter. What I saw in him was amazing faith. Not just any faith – but faith in the One True and Living God who holds us all in His hands and loves us with an immeasurable and unconquerable love. Not just stated faith, but active faith. Faith that rests in God’s love. Faith that patiently waits for God’s outcomes. Faith that trusts God’s sustaining grace. Faith that believes in Light when all is dark. Faith that hopes in a God-glorifying result, even if that glory is not experienced until we are in His Presence. That was the faith I saw in him..
On my last day at the hospital with him, I got up early and went to have my own devotions. I read this Psalm. It has never meant more to me than it did at that moment. Let it speak to you today as well.
1 O LORD, you have searched me and you know me.
2 You know when I sit and when I rise; you perceive my thoughts from afar.
3 You discern my going out and my lying down; you are familiar with all my ways.
4 Before a word is on my tongue you know it completely, O LORD.
5 You hem me in—behind and before; you have laid your hand upon me.
6 Such knowledge is too wonderful for me, too lofty for me to attain.
7 Where can I go from your Spirit? Where can I flee from your presence?
8 If I go up to the heavens, you are there; if I make my bed in the depths, you are there.
9 If I rise on the wings of the dawn, if I settle on the far side of the sea,
10 even there your hand will guide me, your right hand will hold me fast.
11 If I say, “Surely the darkness will hide me and the light become night around me,”
12 even the darkness will not be dark to you; the night will shine like the day, for darkness is as light to you.
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.
17 How precious to me are your thoughts, O God! How vast is the sum of them!
18 Were I to count them, they would outnumber the grains of sand. When I awake, I am still with you.
During the long stay in the hospital with his daughter, one of the father’s friends wrote the words of a song to him in their guestbook on the Caring Bridge site they had. I’m sure there’s a place for these words in the circumstances of our lives today..
If I forget, yet God remembers. If these hands of mine cease from their clinging, yet the Hands divine hold me so firmly I cannot fall. And if sometimes I am too tired to call for Him to help me, then He reads the prayer unspoken in my heart and lifts my care. I dare not fear since certainly I know that I am in God’s keeping, shielded so, from all that else would harm, and in the hour of stern temptation, strengthened by His power. I tread no path in life to Him unknown; I lift no burden, bear no pain, alone; my soul a calm, sure hiding place has found: the everlasting Arms my life surround. God, Thou art love! I build my faith on that. I know Thee who has kept my path, and made light for me in the darkness, tempering sorrow so that it reached me like a solemn joy. It were too strange that I should doubt Thy love.
How precious it is that God’s thoughts are of me!