Psalm 139 Scripture Memory Challenge 2011: Verse 5 “You Hem Me In”

“You hem me in – behind and before;
You have laid Your hand upon me.”
Psalm 139:5

I’m a recovering actress. I worked in the “business” for about 10 years in the 90s and studied acting with some pretty interesting and renowned figures. One acting teacher used to put us through an exercise to help us get “in touch with our authentic self” (just go with me on this for a minute). She’d have us pair up, sit across from one another and repeat the statement “You wouldn’t like me if you knew that I… ____________; and we’d fill in the blank with our own particular character flaw. Then it was the other actor’s turn. It would always start out pretty superficially with atrocities like, “You wouldn’t like me if you knew that I don’t floss” (gasp). We’d volley that line back and forth until finally the real stuff would surface; the stuff you really didn’t want anyone to know about you for fear not only that they really would not like you, but also that in hearing your own voice repeat the terrible truth you just may not like yourself. Or perhaps you already didn’t, and this exercise only confirmed that fact.

Here’s the thing: As frighteningly whacked out as that exercise was… it worked! It was incredibly, oddly, refreshingly freeing. There’s something about sharing your secret self with someone, especially a someone who happened to be a captive audience and was dishing out his or her own brand of garbage along with you. I suppose that’s one reason why we’re not at a loss for psychotherapists in our culture. Just sayin’.

Thought: We’ve got a need to be known. A huge need to be completely known.

But who can you trust?

I will tell you that at the end of that lovely little acting exercise, while I felt freer, I did not necessarily feel better about my life, and I did not come away with any answers for my… stuff. If anything, I felt more vulnerable.

We’ve got a need to be known for who we really are, and we can absolutely trust the One who made us and who knows us completely.  He’s “hemmed you in”.  He’s got our back!

If there’s one theme that Psalm 139 repeats over and over again, it’s the theme of intimacy with our Creator: Him with us, and us with Him. Just count how many times King David uses “Lord” and “You”, “Me” and “My” in the first 5 verses:

Lord, You have searched me…
You know me…
You perceive my thoughts…
You discern my going out…
You are familiar with all my ways…
You know what I’m about to say…
You hem me in…
You have laid your hand upon me.

The thing about our God- our intimate, loving, crazy-about-you-and-me God is that He made us, He loves us, He died for us, He gifted us and He has a purpose for us. He did all that knowing full well, and long in advance… EVERYTHING ABOUT US! It is for freedom that He set us free (Galatians 5:1) and we don’t ever have to feel vulnerable with Him because He knows it all… and has all the answers… and He cares for His precious child!

Thought: You can talk to Him about what He already knows about you!  That’s intimacy.

Here’s your big-girl word for the day: OMNISCIENT… unlimited knowledge. There is nothing God doesn’t know about you- past, present or future.

He’s hemmed you in, sister; He’s got your backand your front.

He’s all over you! Everywhere you turn… He’s there. There’s no getting away from Him. There’s nowhere you’re going without Him.

He’s covered you with the blessing of His presence. Stunning!

He’s the One who made you, He’s the One who knows you, and He’s the only One who can fix you.

Let Him.

Pressing on in His all-encompassing love!
xo – Punky