Thursday, December 5, 2013

Why Worry? Verse Mapping Psalm 139:5

I LOVE Psalm 139:5!!!  When I read what the verse of the week was for our OBS Week 7, I got super excited!  Each translation of this verse reveals so much about the wonderful ways God gives us to rid ourselves of worry.
The NLT version of Psalm 139:5 reads: "You go before me and follow me.  You place Your hand of blessing on my head."  This made me think of how soothing it feels to have someone place their hands on your head, especially if they are rubbing your scalp or stroking your hair.  Getting my hair cut is one of my favorite things to do simply for the washing and conditioning of the hair - the scalp rub is the best part!  It is also very relaxing as the stylist brushes and styles your hair.  Whenever I am blessed with the time to get a massage, I request that they spend a fair amount of time massaging my scalp.

There is something very calming and pacifying about hands on the head, and the fact that God places His hand of blessing on our heads is incredibly soothing!  We have access to this calmness and reassurance at all times - we just have to seek Him.  It also amazes me to think of how blessed we are that our wonderful and incredible God would take the time to remember us and to comfort us - not only by placing His hand on us, but by giving us blessings as well!

The NIV translation of Psalm 139:5 reads: "You hem me in behind and before, and you lay your hand upon me."  "Hemmed in" - this sounds just like getting tucked in a nice warm, comfortable, and safe bed by God.  When we are aware of His presence, we can have that feeling of safe warmth all throughout our day!  Usually I am very claustrophobic (sleeping bags are NOT an option for me!), but the thought of being hemmed in by God sounds wonderful - being trapped in by God's blessings and security actually frees us from worry, fear, anxiety, shame, and other negative emotions, which leaves us free to enjoy His many blessings.  We have no need to worry when He is always with us, keeping us hemmed in with Him!

Psalm 139:50 in The Message reads:  "I look behind me and you're there, then up ahead and you're there, too - your reassuring presence, coming and going."  God is behind us in everything we do; and He is also ahead of us, preparing the way for our future!  Jeremiah 29:11 also reminds us that He is preparing the way for us: "'For I know the plans I have for you,' declares the Lord, 'plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you a hope and a future.'" (NIV)

The Message version also makes me think of this Prayer of St. Patrick:

As I arise today, 
may the strength of God pilot me,
the power of God uphold me,
the wisdom of God guide me.

May the eye of God look before me, 
the ear of God hear me,
The word of God speak for me.

May the hand of God protect me,
the way of God lie before me,
the shield of God defend me,
the host of God save me.
May Christ shield me today. 

Christ with me, Christ before me, Christ behind me,
Christ in me, Christ beneath me, Christ above me, 
Christ on my right, Christ on my left, 
Christ when I lie down, Christ when I sit, Christ when I stand, 
Christ in the heart of everyone who thinks of me, 
Christ in the mouth of everyone who speaks of me,
Christ in every eye that sees me, Christ in every ear that hears me.


I love this prayer, and I love the idea of God and Christ surrounding us, protecting us, and reassuring us.  When we consciously focus on seeking God throughout the day, he will calm our fears and anxieties.  We have no need or room for worry when we make God the sole focus of our lives - He is surrounding us to protect and bless us, and is preparing our future for us too!  I pray you are able to seek Him throughout all your days, and that you are able to experience His blessings and peace.  God bless! :)