1 O LORD, You have searched me and
2 You know my sitting down and my rising up;
understand my thought afar off.
3 You comprehend my path and my lying down,
are acquainted with all my ways.
4 For there is not a word on my tongue,
But behold, O LORD, You know it altogether.
5 You have hedged me behind and before,
laid Your hand upon me.
6 Such knowledge is too wonderful for me;
It is high, I cannot attain it.
7 Where can I go from Your Spirit?
where can I flee from Your presence?
8 If I ascend into heaven, You are there;
If I make my bed in hell, behold, You are there.
9 If I take the wings of the morning,
dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea,
10 Even there Your hand shall lead me,
And Your right hand shall hold me.
If I say, “Surely the darkness shall fall on me,”
Even the night shall be light about me;
12 Indeed, the darkness shall not hide from You,
the night shines as the day;
The darkness and the light are
both alike to You.
For You formed my inward parts;
You covered me in my mother’s
14 I will praise You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
Marvelous are Your works,
that my soul knows very well.
15 My frame was not hidden from You,
I was made in secret,
And skillfully wrought in the lowest
parts of the earth.
16 Your eyes saw my substance, being yet unformed.
in Your book they all were written,
The days fashioned for me,
When as yet there were none of them.
17 How precious also are Your thoughts to me, O God!
great is the sum of them!
18 If I should count them, they would be more in
number than the sand;
When I awake, I am still with You.
19 Oh, that You would slay the wicked, O God!
from me, therefore, you bloodthirsty men.
20 For they speak against You wickedly;
Your enemies take Your name in vain.
21 Do I not hate them, O LORD, who hate You?
do I not loathe those who rise up against You?
22 I hate them with perfect hatred;
I count them my enemies.
23 Search me, O God, and know my heart;
me, and know my anxieties;
24 And see if there is any wicked way in me,
And lead me in the way everlasting.
David was a wonderful psalmist and musician
and of all his writings, Psalm 139 is my favorite. It is one of those "feel good" psalms that can pick me
up and make me feel good about myself no matter what is going on in my life and lets me know that no matter what happens,
I am loved... not for what I can give, or what I can do, but for myself. When I read Verse 17 and 18, it lets me know
that God is thinking about me all the time, that whether I am awake or deep in sleep, He is with me. It tells
me that His thoughts of me are as the number of the grains of sand on the beach and the thought of that overwhelms me.
Have you ever tried to count the number of grains of sand on a beach? That is a WHOLE lot of sand... and to think that
my God loves me THAT much !!!!
All of us at some time
or another feel down on ourselves. We see what we perceive to be our faults and imperfections and we somehow
transmit those feelings into what we feel is our "value" or "worth". None of us are perfect.
We all have our flaws, but our worth in Christ is beyond comprehension. He knows us inside and out. He knows our
thoughts before we speak them. He is acquainted with all of our ways and in His eyes, we are His perfect creation.
But unfortunately, it is not so easy for us to view ourselves in the same light. Many people
resort to plastic surgery procedures to make them feel better about themselves; liposuction, breast augmentation, eyelid surgery,
rhinoplasty, breast reduction.... the list goes on and on. Over the past several years there has been a dramatic increase
in cosmetic procedures, and according to statistics, Baby Boomers are the largest section of the population with the
most procedures performed. Billions of dollars are spent on cosmetics and other items geared to make us look beautiful
and somehow help us hide or disguise our perceived faults. I, like a lot of women use makeup and hair coloring, but
while we all want to put our best foot forward and look our best, it's important to remember that God loves us "just
the way we are".
God knew us even before we were born. Verse 13 and 14 says that He
knew us in our mother's womb and that we are fearfully and wonderfully made. The way the Hebrew is structured in Verse
14, it could very well be translated as "I am an awesome wonder". Knowing this, it is almost too much
to comprehend, yet it is true! Even David in Verse 6 said, "Such knowledge is too wonderful for me; it is high.
I cannot attain unto it". The Psalm goes on to say in Verse 15 and 16 that "My substance was
not hid from thee" and in Verse 16 "Thine eyes did see my substance, yet being unperfect; and in thy book, all my
members were written". God paid loving attention to every detail in creating us and I believe that the word "substance"
in this verse means that God knew us even as an embryo in our mother's womb. We are just as He made us
to be. If we believe like David did, that we are "fearfully and wonderfully made", then how will we view
ourselves? And, If God created us as we are, how should we view our moles, crooked teeth,
and body parts that don’t work? And, as we get older, when our bodies begin to sag and fail... what then? God’s Word tells us that we will “outwardly waste
away” in 2 Corinthians 4:16, yet the renewal experienced inwardly through the power of the Holy Spirit
can provide the hope and peace we crave. True transformation occurs on the inside, as it states in Romans 12: 1-2, when
we "present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. And
be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good,and
acceptable, and perfect, will of God". Human life has value. It has meaning, and regardless of our imperfections,
we have purpose. Every human being is a unique and beautiful creation of God.
We not only look at our
own imperfections, but we are often quick to point out the imperfections of others. So many times we see
people who society considers mistakes, disposable, worthless; yet humanity, not to mention Christianity, demands that we treat
them with human dignity and brothers and sisters in Christ. My faults and imperfections may not be the same as yours,
or theirs, but we all have our unique characteristics and we are just as God created us to be. Granted, sometimes
accidents and misfortune alter our features, but even so, the Psalm says that God knows everything about us and He can
and will use those imperfections to His glory. It is also important to remember that God's perfection is not necessarily
in others, but in the way we learn to treat them. Society isn't always kind and sometimes folks refuse to look beyond the
obvious to see what lies beneath the surface. People can be cruel and say or do things that hurt and cut to the bone,
and all of us have been guilty of this at one time or another. Sometimes without even meaning to, we say
or do things that are hurtful and others pay the price. Even David spoke of his enemies but in Verse
23 and 24 said "Search me, O God, and know my heart; try me, and know my thoughts: And see if there be any wicked way
in me, and lead me in the way everlasting". We must always remember that God created us just as He wanted
us to be and despite what we or others might think are flaws, in God's eyes, we are perfect. We have purpose and
value and God can and will use us "just as we are". Regardless of what people say, regardless of
how they might sometimes make you feel, treat them with love and let God's love shine through you. Release your
thoughts of hurt to God and pray for His grace to let them go.
Learn to view yourself
as God sees you instead of the person you see in the mirror, and above all... learn to love yourself for the beautiful person
God created you to be.
~ Pam Powers Moore
Father, thank You for loving us and for making
us the people we are. Help us Lord to honor You with our beings, to accept what we perceive to be our
faults and imperfections, and to live our lives as a beautiful reflection of You. May we serve You
with gladness and always be found in Your presence. In thy holy, most precious name. Amen.
Stories to Touch the Heart and Warm the Soul:
water bearer in China had two large pots, each hung on the ends of a pole, which he carried across his neck. One of the pots
had a crack in it, while the other pot was perfect and always delivered a full portion of water. At the end of the long walk
from the stream to the house, the cracked pot arrived only half full.
For a full two years this went on daily, with the bearer delivering
only one and a half pots full of water to his house. Of course, the perfect pot was proud of its accomplishments, perfect
for which it was made. But the poor cracked pot was ashamed of its own imperfection, and miserable that it was able to accomplish
only half of what it had been made to do.
After two years of
what it perceived to be a bitter failure, it spoke to the water bearer one day by the stream. "I am ashamed of myself,
and because this crack in my side causes water to leak out all the way back to your house."
The bearer said to the pot,
"Did you notice that there were flowers only on your side of the path, but not on the other pot's side? That's because
I have always known about your flaw, and I planted flower seeds on your side of the path, and every day while we walk back,
you've watered them. For two years I have been able to pick these beautiful flowers to decorate the table. Without you being
just the way you are, there would not be this beauty to grace the house".
Where is God's Perfection?
In Brooklyn, New York, Chush is a school that caters to learning disabled children. Some children remain in Chush for their entire school career, while
others can be mainstreamed into conventional schools.
At a Chush fund-raising dinner, the father of a Chush child
delivered a speech that would never be forgotten by all who attended.
After extolling the school and its dedicated
staff, he cried out, "Where is the perfection in my son Shaya? Everything God does is done with perfection. But my child
cannot understand things as other children do. My child cannot remember facts and figures as other children do. Where is God's
The audience was shocked by the question, pained by the father's anguish, stilled by the piercing
" I believe," the father answered, "that when God brings a child like this into the world,
the perfection that he seeks is in the way people react to this child."
He then told the following story about
his son Shaya:
One afternoon Shaya and his father walked past a park where some boys Shaya knew were playing baseball.
Shaya asked, "Do you think they will let me play?"
Shaya's father knew that his son was not at
all athletic and that most boys would not want him on their team. But Shaya's father understood that if his son was chosen
to play it would give him a comfortable sense of belonging.
Shaya's father approached one of the boys in the field and
asked if Shaya could play. The boy looked around for guidance from his teammates. Getting none, he took matters into his own
hands and said "We are losing by six runs and the game is in the eighth inning. I guess he can be on our team and we'll
try to put him up to bat in the ninth inning."
Shaya's father was ecstatic as Shaya smiled broadly. Shaya
was told to put on a glove and go out to play short center field.
In the bottom of the eighth inning, Shaya's team
scored a few runs but was still behind by three. In the bottom of the ninth inning, Shaya's team scored again and now with
two outs and the bases loaded with the potential winning run on base, Shaya was scheduled to be up. Would the team actually
let Shaya bat at this juncture and give away their chance to win the game? Surpassingly, Shaya was given the bat.
Everyone knew that it was all but impossible because Shaya didn't even know how to hold the bat properly, let alone hit
with it. However as Shaya stepped up to the plate, the pitcher moved a few steps to lob the ball in softly so Shaya should
at least be able to make contact.
The first pitch came in and Shaya swung clumsily and missed. One of Shaya's teammates
came up to Shaya and together the held the bat and faced the pitcher waiting for the next pitch. The pitcher again took a
few steps forward to toss the ball softly toward Shaya. As the pitch came in, Shaya and his teammate swung at the bat and
together they hit a slow ground ball to the pitcher.
The pitcher picked up the soft grounder and could easily have
thrown the ball to the first baseman. Shaya would have been out and that would have ended the game. Instead, the pitcher took
the ball and threw it on a high arc to right field, far beyond reach of the first baseman.
Everyone started yelling,"Shaya,
run to first. Run to first." Never in his life had Shaya run to first. He scampered down the baseline wide-eyed and startled.
By the time he reached first base, the right fielder had the ball. He could have thrown the ball to the second baseman who
would tag out Shaya, who was still running. But the right fielder understood what the pitcher's intentions were, so he threw
the ball high and far over the third baseman's head. Everyone yelled, "Run to second, run to second." Shaya ran
towards second base as the runners ahead of him deliriously circled the bases towards home. As Shaya reached second base,
the opposing short stop ran to him, turned him in the direction of third base and shouted, "Run to third." As Shaya
rounded third, the boys from both teams ran behind him screaming, "Shaya run home."
Shaya ran home, stepped
on home plate and all 18 boys lifted him on their shoulders and made him the hero, as he had just hit a "grand slam"
and won the game for his team.
"That day," said the father softly with tears now rolling down his face,
"those 18 boys reached their level of God's perfection."