Psalms 139:13-16 ESV
“For you formed my inward parts;
you knitted me together in my mother’s womb.
I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made.
Wonderful are your works;
my soul knows it very well.
My frame was not hidden from you,
when I was being made in secret,
intricately woven in the depths of the earth.
Your eyes saw my unformed substance;
in your book were written, every one of them,
the days that were formed for me,
when as yet there was none of them.”
You Knit Me Together
It is the Lord Jesus who formed my inward parts. He is my creator God. And he is the one who knit me together in the womb of my mother, and wonderful are his works. And in his book were written, every one of them, the days that were formed for me, when as yet there was none of them. Doesn’t that just blow you away? Do we truly comprehend what this means?
I mean it all sounds wonderful until we examine all of what this is saying in light of the reality of some of our lives. For not all of us were born into families where we were loved and adored and where we were nurtured with affection and appropriate and proper attention and care. Some of us were abused and neglected and we didn’t grow up feeling loved by our parents.
Now my mother was good at taking care of us physically, making sure we had clothing to wear and food in our stomachs and even to make certain that we had music lessons and that we were in scouts and that we were able to participate in extracurricular activities with our schools and in children’s and youth ministries at church. So, she was attentive to us in this way.
But she was emotionally withdrawn from us, and she was emotionally neglectful, and she did often hand us over to the care of our abusive father, and so that gave him only more opportunities to abuse us, and he was a big bully who took advantage of those weaker than him. And I lived in dread fear of him when I was growing up in my parents’ home.
And I am not looking for sympathy here. But I am sharing this because not everyone on this earth had parents who loved them and who took good care of them and who protected them from evil. Many people grew up with abusive and/or neglectful parents who did harm to them. And yet it was Jesus who knit us together in the wombs of our mothers, so he placed us in those homes knowing that we would be abused. But why?
In Your Book Were Written
In our Lord’s book were written, every one of them, the days that were formed for us, before any of them came into being. So, it isn’t just that Jesus placed me in the womb of my mother, and thus in a home where he knew I would be abused, but all the days of my life were formed for me by God, and the abuse did not end with my father. So why?
When I think back over my life, and I am 72 years old, in my natural mind it is hard for me to imagine why a loving God would form for my life all the things that I went through to get to where I am today. For I faced much mistreatment, rejection, persecution, false accusations and abuse over my lifetime from various people at various times, and most all of it came from people who claimed to be followers of Jesus Christ.
Now, I am not saying that I lived a perfect life or that none of this was justified, but in all honesty before God, most all of it came as a result of me walking in faithful obedience to my Lord and not as a result of me living in disobedience to the Lord, which I did sometimes. The sad reality of it all is that usually people were okay with me when I was failing miserably and they were displeased with me when I was living to please my Lord.
So, why did the Lord form for me that I should go through that in my life? In all honesty, I struggled with that for many years, and I even became angry with God and I held a grudge against Jesus for not protecting me and for not rescuing me from it all, and for allowing it all to happen to me, although I was not consciously aware that was in my heart until the Lord revealed it to me one day when I asked him who I was not forgiving. His answer to me was “Jesus.” And at that moment I knew what he meant.
And it was because I did not trust in God’s sovereignty over my life. I did not trust him fully with my life and with my circumstances. I thought I did. Intellectually I did, but not in practicality. And I also did not see God fully for who he is, for I saw him as limited and incapable of rescuing me from my painful circumstances, because he didn’t, and so I also thought Satan still had power over my life and that he might still win.
The Days that Were Formed for Me
So, why did God allow all of that to take place? Why did he give Satan permission to do what he did to Job and to Job’s family? And why did God the Father send his only begotten Son (God the Son) to the cross to die that painful death? Why did he allow him to suffer like he did and to be hated and despised and rejected of men? We do know the answer, don’t we?
Do you know that God never promised us an easy life? He never promised us that all people would love us and that we would be well accepted and that we would be happy throughout our lives because everything went well for us. In fact, he promised us the opposite. He promised that if we follow Jesus Christ that we will be hated and persecuted and falsely accused and falsely imprisoned and even put to death for our faith in the Lord Jesus.
So why does he allow us to suffer so? Because suffering produces endurance and character and hope. We are called to share in Christ’s sufferings so that we may also rejoice and be glad when his glory is revealed. So we are blessed when we are persecuted and mistreated for the sake of our walks of faith in Jesus Christ. And the testing of our faith produces steadfastness so that we might become mature in our walks of faith.
And when we suffer it teaches us to rely on God and not on ourselves. And it is so we can comfort others going through similar suffering with the encouragement we received from God. And suffering is discipline from the Lord which is for our good that we may share in God’s holiness. And All discipline for the moment seems not to be joyful, but sorrowful; yet to those who have been trained by it, afterwards it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness. And we learn obedience through the things we suffer.
[Rom 5:3-5; Phil 3:7-11; 1 Pet 1:6-7; 1 Pet 4:12-17; 1 Thess 3:1-5; Jas 1:2-4; Matt 5:10-12; Lu 21:12-19; 2 Co 1:3-11; Heb 12:3-12; Jn 15:1-11]
And let me tell you this from personal experience. All that I went through in my life was God preparing me for the ministry to which he called me nearly 18 years ago. That was my training for the calling to which he called me. And I know I would not be doing what I am doing today had I not gone through the trials and tribulations that the Lord took me through and walked me through, by his grace.
And to be honest, some of that was brought on me by my own rebellion against God’s will and purpose for my life. I struggled with all that was happening to me, and during a period of time in my life I rebelled and I went the opposite direction, perhaps like Jonah in some ways, until the Lord gently brought me back to where I needed to be. But I learned some hard lessons even through that time. Rebellion is not recommended, though, as a way to learn hard lessons.
But the point in all of this is that we should not resist God’s will and purpose for our lives. We should trust in his sovereignty, and believe that he is in control, and that nothing can touch us but what he allows it and that he will carry us through it if we will trust him with our lives and with our circumstances. And when we yield control to him, then he uses it all to mold us into the people of God he intends for us to be. So trust, don’t resist!
An Original Work / July 15, 2013
My heart cries: Lord, won’t You hear me
Seeking You for the answers
To my heartache and questions
I have concerning my life?
Speak, Lord, to me right now.
“Oh, dear one, why don’t you trust Me
With your life’s circumstances?
Give your all on the altar
In submission of your will
To My purpose for you.
“Surrender your life completely
To your Lord and your Savior.
He has all things planned for you
For His glory and honor.
He’ll work all things for good.
“Believe Him. He will fulfill all
Of His promises to you
For your life and your future.
Trust Him. Rest in His love.
He’ll give you peace from above.”