I love Psalm 139. It is absolutely my favorite Psalm, and maybe my favorite chapter out of the whole Bible. I think I stumbled upon it first during my college years, and as the years have passed, my understanding and appreciation for the chapter have only deepened.
As a mom, you may understand better than anyone the miracle of birth that David, the Psalmist, refers to. We get such a unique gift, don’t we? Those early butterfly flutters are a foreshadow of the vivacious KICKS we experience later on. The miracle is tangible to moms—tangible, and precious, and scary, and exhilarating, and sometimes–overwhelming! But then, on the greatly anticipated day, we experience every emotion known to womenkind and our personal miracle becomes a (somewhat) independent little person–a visual reminder of the secret miracle we experienced ourselves for all of those months. We get it, don’t we, moms? Maybe even better than David could have, having never been a mother himself!
One day, my daughter Ryleigh asked something about where she was before she was “with me” (born). I am certainly not a Bible scholar, and this question was far above my knowledge of theology and souls and all that. But “I don’t know, baby!” is rarely good enough for an inquisitive five-year-old. I grasped at straws and landed in her frame of reference. About a year and a half ago, we took a trip to the American Girl Store near Nashville. (You know where I’m going with this, right? : )) I asked her if she remembered the trip. She did, so I went on to describe all of the babies we saw there, just waiting for little girls to come choose them and take them home. I told Ryleigh that God knew me and her sweet daddy, and He knew we needed just the right “doll” to fit in our family. He chose her for us, and sent her as a gift to us. She loves for me to tell her this story….and even today I heard her reference herself as an “American Girl doll” sent to my mommy and daddy from Jesus. I don’t have to know much about how God gifts us our children to know that they ARE a miracle gift, and that He knows us and He knows them.
But for all of these years of loving this chapter, I couldn’t get the flow…how does it fit together? Is it all just ramblings of David’s praise to our amazing God? And recently, it hit me. Just as we know and think about our precious babies, we are KNOWN by our Heavenly Father. We think about our babies long before we’re ever pregnant…and those thoughts only grow exponentially when we know they’re “on the way.” We consider their names, their hair color, what their cry will sound like. We think about nursery decor, baby shower themes, paint colors….strollers, car seats, registries—all of it in anticipation of the new little one coming. Then, when they arrive–they DEMAND our thoughts, don’t they? Ok, they demand EVERYTHING from us. But our every thought centers around their needs, their safety, their future, their milestones, their growth….And (until they’re mobile, anyway) they are never far from our sight. Even if we leave them at daycare, or with a sitter, or at our mom’s house—we KNOW where they are. They cannot hide from us. It’s instinctive, right?
In the same way that we can’t help but think about and consider our children….our sweet Father has known and anticipated and considered our lives from before we were ever born! He knows us….He really KNOWS us. The good, the bad, the ugly—He knows it all. But before you decide to bolt and hide in shame, the chapter doesn’t stop with His knowing us. It goes on to say that He thinks about us. David describes God’s thoughts toward us as “precious.” We know from Jeremiah 29:11 that God has good plans for us. In spite of our mistakes and shame–He’s constantly thinking of our needs, our safety, our future…..Just like a mother thinks of her children. Granted, we don’t always think “happy thoughts” towards our kids (can I get an “Amen?”), but in His perfection and lovingkindness and longsuffering, He is ALWAYS thinking in our favor.
“For I know the plans I have for you,” says the Lord. “They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.” Jeremiah 29:11 NLT
I spent all four years of college near the beach. Almost every Saturday, I would gather my reading homework, a towel, some snacks, and my spf 4 (don’t judge) and head to the beach. I compromised with myself: I could spend all day at the beach, but I had to get my reading homework done while I was there. (I wish I could make that deal with myself today!!! Becki, you can go waste all day at the beach as long as you fold laundry while you’re there. DONE. I’ll be a laundry folding machine. Just give me sun and sand!) Sand. Wow. Those beautiful white sandy beaches reminded me over and over of the powdery snow we had back home in Maine. It was EVERYWHERE. Sand. I would inadvertently carry handfuls back to my dorm room, regardless of how hard I tried to avoid it. I’d shower immediately upon returning from the beach, but I’d still feel grains on my head as a ran my fingers through my hair in class on Monday morning. Tiny little grains…everywhere. And that, dear Momma, is the metaphor the Psalmist used to describe how many thoughts God has about you and me. Precious thoughts. Innumerable thoughts.
So today, while you’re thinking about everyone and everything you have to take care of, you know what He’s thinking about? You. How much He loves you. Your needs, your cares, your safety, your future….You. Because He’s known you, and He’s always known you, and while you carry the burdens of your household and your finances and your marriage and your kids—He’s thinking about YOU. And waiting with great anticipation for you to let Him carry all of that for you. He’s got you on His mind, Momma.