For you formed my inward parts; you knitted me together in my mothers womb…Your eyes saw my unformed substance: In your book were written, everyone of them, the days that were formed for me. Psalm 139: 13-18
I’m not a big concert person. Something about thousands of people with only a few exits doesn’t appeal to me. However, when I was a teenager, I loved Alanis Morissette and went to see her when she was in town. The alternative, grungy vibe she gave off probably met the angsty teenager in me just right. My brother bought the tickets, and he and I went together. It’s still one of my favorite memories, mainly because of my brother’s sweet sacrifice in taking his little sister to a concert he didn’t necessarily want to attend.
The thousands of attendees knew every word she sang, and at the concert’s end, she thanked us profusely. While heading off stage, she professed her love for our city while never knowing a thing about the 16-year-old in the cheap seats.
Jesus, the rock star
This was how I saw Jesus for much of my life, equivalent to the rock star on stage. Everyone was clamoring for a look while I was seated way back in row 312, close enough to see his digitalized face on the jumbotron but far enough away that he couldn’t see me. The idea that He, the God of everything, would care about tiny, insignificant me didn’t make sense, especially when He had an entire world to keep spinning.
Sometimes—particularly in our dark times—truth is shadowed by feeling, and Jesus seems unattainable.
After many years of struggling with severe anxiety and depression, I had fallen into this trap. My theology was filtered through fear and half-truths. It felt as though Jesus was professing his love for the many but missing the one. He was on stage with hundreds of seats and an equal amount of people and problems between us. I knew He loved the world, as John 3:16 states; I just couldn’t be sure how I fit into that love.
Longing to be near
Fear is an expert at making me believe I’m in the farthest seat from God. How could He see me and my problems in the flood of others—many, I’m sure, far more important than mine?
Like many seeking out the rockstar on stage, I longed to be near this God I loved but didn’t know as intimately as I wanted to. While memorizing his sayings, repeating them word for word, and adoring him from afar, I longed desperately to get close enough – if only to reach out and touch a small piece of him. More importantly, I needed him to extend his hand and connect the broken places inside me. In my area of hurt, in this ceaseless, seemingly unnecessary place of pain that held me hostage, I craved his hand of comfort and hope to reach me. I just wasn’t sure He could reach that far.
The days He formed.
King David probably could have fallen into this trap, especially since he was hated, hunted, and conspired against for much of his earlier life. Instead, we have a book written mainly by him that proclaims God’s close and intimate understanding of David. Psalm 139 is an anthem of God’s knowledge, concern, and love over David’s life;
In your book were written, every one of them, the days that were formed for me.“(Psalm 139:16.)
He wasn’t talking about the whole world but about his unique days and life. In verse 13, David proclaims, “You formed my inward parts; you knitted me together in my mother’s womb.”
This God that accounts for all of David’s days is also the one who thoughtfully made every inch of you. He cares for you no matter what your feelings or anyone else may tell you.
God has more important things to do.
Years ago, I worked for a woman who believed there was a God but didn’t believe Him to be a personal God. A colleague entered our office to discuss a challenging situation she was facing – small yet difficult – and mentioned that she had been praying about it. I was taken aback when my boss chuckled and remarked, “I think God has more important things to do than take care of your small problem.” It sounded harsh and cynical, and I was surprised by her honesty. Reflecting on it now, I appreciate that she didn’t simply nod and agree. She vocalized her beliefs, regardless of how misguided they might have been. The aspect that troubled me the most, if I were honest, was that the words she uttered without hesitation reflected the state of my heart.
“God has more important things to do than care for your small problem.” This sentence whispered into my heart and burrowed deeply into what I believed about God.
God’s love…for the king and me
This great big world is bursting at the seams with people and their problems. It’s easy to see why my boss would believe a little problem wouldn’t be at the top of God’s list. I know what it’s like to make God in my image as a human who prioritizes problems. However, if we believe in the God David spoke of, our view of Him should never be so shallow and small.
It’s easy to read David’s words and see them as a beautiful promise to him: The shepherd boy turned giant slayer turned king—the man after God’s heart. However, to claim this as a promise to me feels ludicrous and almost audacious.
Is He seeing me as he saw David?
Does God know you as He knew David? Does He care about us in the same way He cared for David?
The answer is absolutely. He wouldn’t have come to live and die and leave us with the ultimate gift otherwise. The gift of the Holy Spirit dwells in us individually. Through Jesus, we have the ability to commune directly with God!
King David lived long before Jesus, so He only saw a portion of God’s involvement and plan for our lives. He didn’t see what would eventually come to be—Jesus dwelling so close that He is within his people. (John 14:16-19) But he believed that God would never leave him—or us. (Psalm 27:10) And David knew long before Jesus came to the Earth that He would never forsake His saints. (Psalm 37:28)
Friend, the God of the entire world, knew you before you took your first breath and stays with you long after your last. Stand in awe and echo with David; “Such knowledge is too wonderful for me…” (Psalm 139:6)
When you’re tempted, like I often am, to believe he doesn’t see you from the stage because of the thousands of people between Him and you, remember this truth: Yes, He came for all, as John 3:16 says, but more importantly, He came for the one: you.
Your small problem is His big concern today, and He is with you no matter what row you’re sitting in.
As always, friend, thank you for stopping by,