For You formed my inward parts; You wove me in my mother’s womb. I will give thanks to you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made; wonderful are Your works, and my soul knows it very well. My frame was not hidden from You, when I was made in secret, and skillfully wrought in the depths of the earth; Your eyes have seen my unformed substance; and in Your book were all written the days that were ordained for me, when as yet there was not one of them. How precious also are Your thoughts to me, O God! How vast is the sum of them! If I should count them, they would outnumber the sand. When I awake, I am still with You. Psalm 139:13-16
I used to really struggle with the idea of God being a father figure. My own father had abandoned us when I was a child and when I re-connected with him as an adult, it was literally on his death bed. I have the most vivid impression of him being a lonely, broken man; a man ruined and ravaged by sin. I was too young in my faith to even begin knowing how to share Christ with him. I just remember feeling that sin had robbed him and me of something better, something more. So, as I grew in my understanding of God, I had a hard time addressing Him as my Father. My exposure to a father had been negative and I didn’t want to associate those feelings with God.
But, God had another plan. When Charlie and I became parents, God replaced all of those negative feelings and memories with positive, God-centered experiences through my husband. Watching him share the Word with them and tenderly lead them in the ways of the Lord restored my ideas of fatherhood. I began to understand how God could be my Father, and in fact, had probably spared me the cruelty of a dysfunctional father-daughter relationship by allowing my earthly father to leave us. He also began to gently reveal His Fatherhood in my own heart. He never pushed or forced His way in, but carefully opened my heart with His grace and mercies.
In these six verses of Psalm 139, we see a glimpse of God’s tenderness towards us. He is our Father, not just a far-off God. He was intimately involved in every aspect of our becoming. He was there when we were just chemicals. He swirled those chemicals together in a fantastic way that made each of us unique and special. He had a specific outcome in mind when He fashioned each of us and He took great pleasure in doing so. He is so proud of us!
We need to be in the “Hugging Place,” in the place where we are simply enjoying the pleasure of God’s presence so He can remind us that He is our Father. If you had a great relationship with your earthly Father, no doubt you have fond memories of hanging out with him, listening to him, learning from him, being challenged by him, being encouraged by him. God wants to do that with you, too. If, like me, you don’t have those kind of warm memories of an earthly father, then all the more reason to allow God to show you what His Fatherhood is all about. You and I need to replace our negative images with holy ones.
In these verses, David praises God for the way he is made; for God’s sovereignty in his design and creation. We need to spend time praising God in this way, as well. Too often, we allow the world and society to define the image we have of ourselves. When we spend time with the Lord, the One whose design for us is perfect, we begin to see ourselves the way He does: beautiful, wonderful, precious, His…Our negative thoughts are replaced by thoughts of God’s love for us. And, He does love us…Oh, how He loves us!
Thank You, Father, for being just that–my Father. Thank You for all the ways You have encouraged me, taught me, held me, loved me. Help me to receive Your authority in my life. Help me to understand You more and more. I love you! In Jesus’ name, Amen.