Sunday, January 3, 2010

My favorite Psalm: 139

My husband I just completed prearrangements for our deaths. Neither of us knows of an immediate likelihood, this has been in the works for awhile, and we just completed the arrangements before the end of last year. Neither of us plans to have a funeral or memorial service. Our thoughts on that may differ from yours, but I feel it is a strain on family members who are already suffering a loss.

I'm sharing my favorite psalm this morning, because I think it continues to be relevant to me at whatever age I've read it. Throughout my life, I've tried to do my best, but often seem to be a disappointment to others around me, especially authority figures. This is because at my core, is a streak of independence and divergent thinking. In other words, not an easy person to lead. Yet it has always comforted me to consider that I am as the good Lord made me, and as my savior, Jesus, knows me to be. Not a thought or action that I may consider is unknown. Sharing it fits within the framework of gratitude that guides my writing this year.

Psalm 139 (New International Version)

Psalm 139
For the director of music. Of David. A psalm.
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
. my own emphasis

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.
again my emphasis

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.

19 If only you would slay the wicked, O God!
Away from me, you bloodthirsty men!

20 They speak of you with evil intent;
your adversaries misuse your name.

21 Do I not hate those who hate you, O LORD,
and abhor those who rise up against you?

22 I have nothing but hatred for them;
I count them my enemies.

23 Search me, O God, and know my heart;
test me and know my anxious thoughts.

24 See if there is any offensive way in me,
and lead me in the way everlasting.

Only the good Lord knows whether my name is written in his book or not. Does our name pop on and off the list? Believing in free will, I've never felt constrained by this psalm. Is the list like the Egyptian concept of weighing our heart, with only pure souls admitted to heaven? I hope not, for my heart has polka dots! ;)

1 comment:

Mary said...

Jo-Thanks for sharing. I've read this one before but it was nice to read it again--especially after reading your thoughts in the beginning. Took on a whole new meaning. Hugs to you my friend!