Daily Reading and Prayer submitted by Emma Stetson
For the director of music. Of David. A psalm.
1 You have searched me, Lord,
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, Lord, know it completely.
5 You hem me in behind and before,
and you lay 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,[a] 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, God, would slay the wicked!
Away from me, you who are bloodthirsty!
20 They speak of you with evil intent;
your adversaries misuse your name.
21 Do I not hate those who hate you, Lord,
and abhor those who are in rebellion against you?
22 I have nothing but hatred for them;
I count them my enemies.
23 Search me, 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.
I’ve been reflecting recently on seasons of transition most of us go through: those graduating from school, those moving somewhere new, those entering new jobs or new friend groups. My own seasons of change have made me think about the person I wanted to become, where I wanted to live, and what I wanted to spend my time working towards. Looking through Psalm 139 in my Bible shows many verses circled and underlined. I’ve come back to this Psalm many times and find comfort in the reassurance of God’s faithful love through these transitions. He goes before us and follows us (verse 5) when we question our direction and our purpose. He remains with us through our doubt and our mistakes (verses 7-12). He shows us his love for the complexities of our daily lives (verses 13-16). Our seasons of transition, of growth, and movement that can be uncertain and uncomfortable are crafted from his unshakable devotion to us. It’s this focus on the individual here that stands out. God has this complete understanding of us as individuals (where we are, what we are, and who we are). He has all of our transitions figured out- the mundane details of our everyday lives and the bigger jumps in the future. Yet, despite the changes we go through, I like that David ends by asking God to point out anything in our lives that needs to be changed (verse 24), opening ourselves up to growth and another transition. Even though in these periods we miss the comfort that comes with stability, it’s in these seasons that we find that stability in God’s love.
Change is difficult. I know that too often I get stuck in my own ways of thinking and the comfort of my routine. I want to thank you for the times you’ve led me through uncertainty. I hope these verses help become a reminder of your complete love for me. Open my heart to growth.