I settled into the corner of the couch, buried under the afghan, hands wrapped around a steaming cup of coffee. I was alone with my Bible and study book in the quiet dark of 5:30am. The chapter for the day was Psalm 139, the one with these recognizable verses:
For you created my inmost being;
you knit me together in my mother’s womb.
I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
your works are wonderful,
I know that full well.
I’ve read it dozens of times before. It talks about God’s all-knowing, all-seeing nature, and ends with a request to God to weed out “any offensive way” in him. I like how The Message puts the last few verses:
Investigate my life, O God,
find out everything about me;
Cross-examine and test me,
get a clear picture of what I’m about;
See for yourself whether I’ve done anything wrong—
then guide me on the road to eternal life.
The questions about what it said and what it meant were fairly standard — they focused on the attributes of God written about in the psalm and what comfort we can derive from those. I whipped through them easily.
Then it got personal.
Write a response to God for each of these attributes and what difference He makes in your life.
I read the first one and stopped.
- Omniscience – He knows everything about you, including your actions, words, and motives
Just last week I’d sobbed in the car, in the bathroom at work, and in the dark while everyone slept because I’m so miserable. I think differently, ask questions no-one else does, and don’t find the standard answers satisfying. To make matters worse, all of this is very alarming to the people around me, and their responses haven’t always been very gracious or accepting.
Part of me wishes I could just swallow it whole and be at peace, the way “normal” people do.
“I wonder if anyone else is as messed up as me,” I thought.
Tears dripping onto the pages, I wrote: You know the battle raging inside me between the independent skeptic and the communal believer. But you love me anyway. You know exactly what I need… and where I will end up.
- Omnipresence – God is with you in every place
The response came more quickly for this one. Even in my deepest depression, most intense stress, worst rebellious anger, and most broken grief, you are with me. And you love me in the middle of this mess.
- Creatorship – God designed and made every part of you
This. This is more than omniscience. This is more than just knowing every part of me. This is intention and purpose and design.
More tears: You made me this way and you have a purpose for me.
I couldn’t believe I was crying before 6 o’clock in the morning. This did not bode well for my day.
But all of these simply laid the groundwork for the next question.
Understanding that God knew all about us before we were even conceived can enable us to accept the way He made us. What things about yourself have you had difficulty accepting, perhaps even to the point of questioning God?
I’ve spent my entire life trying to be like everyone else.
God has pushed my face into that repeatedly in recent months. He’s forcing me to look at how he made me, and asking me what I’m going to do with that. He’s telling me to accept his design, his intention, his purpose for me.
I feel like a foal… or uglier, a mule’s foal… just born, trying to walk on brand new legs three times longer than I think they should be. I keep falling down, skinning my knees, bruising my shins, and wondering how many people are giggling. Or worse, pointing their fingers and condemning because I’m a mule, not a gazelle. I even hear some of them whisper that God only loves gazelles.
I wrote, “My struggle to believe, to find a peaceful confident faith. My way of thinking and evaluating things. My more assertive characteristics that seem more fitting of a man than a woman. The depression and discouragement that dogs my steps.”
As I lay my Bible down and meditate on this psalm, I realize this: God didn’t make me a gazelle. He made me me. He loves gazelles, but he loves mules, elephants, geese, and rainbow trout too. He asks me to accept the way he made me, find the road He wants me to walk, and walk it.
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