A Reflection on The Psalm for June 24th, 2018: The Solemnity of The Nativity of Saint John The Baptist
Psalm 139:1B-3, 13-14AB, 14C-15
Attributed to King David. Instructions: "To the Choirmaster" (1000BC)
The heart of a King was 'unsearchable' to his subjects, but not so to his Sovereign--his Creator. This is the prayer of a man who feels the Lord's Hand upon him, acknowledging his Creator as all knowing, all just. He feels the Presence of God all around him.
I praise You, for I am wonderfully made!
O LORD, you have probed me, you know me:
you know when I sit and when I stand;
you understand my thoughts from afar.
My journeys and my rest you scrutinize,
with all my ways you are familiar.
Truly you have formed my inmost being;
you knit me in my mother's womb.
I give you thanks that I am fearfully, wonderfully made;
wonderful are your works.
My soul also you knew full well;
nor was my frame unknown to you
When I was made in secret,
when I was fashioned in the depths of the earth.
This Sunday's Liturgy of the Word, only quotes a small part of Psalm139.
The Psalm is such a personal and 'perfect' prayer. Even after thousands of years, the contents of this prayer speak to each one of us individually, confirming the fact that our Creator has known and loved us from Eternity--before we were present in time--before we were 'knit together in our mother's womb'. Jesus as Saviour continues to cherish and love us through the Spirit. He is 'acquainted with all our ways' and in His mercy, knows our weaknesses and our strengths. The final line of the Psalm is 'search me Oh God, and know my heart... and lead me in the way everlasting'.
I was introduced to this beautiful Psalm when I was sixteen years old. I remember being in awe of the message. At that time I was joined in Chapel by approximately 100 Sisters of St. Joseph. We would often sing the Psalm, and when coming to the line about 'rising up' , I would question silently the wisdom of the chosen time, being that it was 5:30am. But as our voices sang in praise of being known and loved by our Creator, the sound and power of the psalm filled the Chapel and gave us strength for the day, knowing that God was present and 'dwelt among us'. Both the psalm and the experience has been with me throughout my life.
However, there have been times when I have emulated the reference to 'sitting down and laying down'--not in rest, but in an attitude of petulance--refusing the grace of God like an obstinate child. And, like most folks, I have had both wonderful and traumatic experiences in my life. I have had times when I could not 'find' God, even though the written word said that God would not abandon me. And this psalm was my only hope that He had not given up on me. I then realized at those times that though I didn't feel so 'wonderfully made', there were people who reminded me that perhaps I was looking in the wrong place for Him. My expectations were blinding me. And such blessed people certainly were a reflection of His Presence.
I recently read a beautiful verse written by Roy Lessin. I think it sums up the message of Psalm 139. It is as follows:
"Just think... you are here not by chance, but by God's choosing.
His Hand formed you and made you the person You are.
He compares you to no one else--
You are one of a kind.
You lack nothing that His Grace can't give you.
He has allowed you to be here at this time in history
to fulfill His special purpose for this generation.
You are God's servant, in God's place, at God's perfect time."
He awaits our permission to complete His mission in us. Amen.
"He awaits our permission to complete His mission in us." - Lynda Tyler (Ora Reflections)