Archives For Psalm 139

Did you ever feel like God was playing favorites & you were being purposely left out?

Have you ever looked around at what others received—maybe things you desperately wanted from God—and wondered why He said ‘yes’ to them and ‘no’ to you?

When Jesus was on earth, He fielded such questions. I’m thinking specifically of His time with two sisters, Martha and Mary, and their story in John 11.

These sisters knew Jesus well. They served Him often and sat at His feet. He considered their home, His home.

But when their darkest hour came—the death of their brother Lazarus, their provider and protector—they called for Jesus, and He did not come.

Does God play favorites

In fact, He delayed His coming until He knew Lazarus was dead.

When Jesus did arrive, both sisters uttered the same lament: “Lord, if you had been here my brother would not have died.” (John 11:21 & 32)

Two sisters, so close to each other, experienced the same tragedy, felt the same grief, and expressed the same doubt in the same exact words.

And Jesus responded to each differently

With Martha, the practical one, He pointed her eyes toward eternity and the true resurrection. And I can’t help but wonder if she needed a lesson in the midst of her tragedy because she’d missed a time or two at Jesus’ feet.

With Mary, the dreamer, He said nothing. Perhaps she’d been sitting at His feet for so long that He knew His words were hidden in her heart to comfort and teach her.

Yet, even though Mary had sat often at Jesus’ feet, soaking in His words, and had been commended for her choice, her relationship with Him did not ward off tragedy. Jesus did not show favoritism. Mary still had to experience hard things.

So Jesus treated each sister differently—not from favoritism—but because He knew them.

Does God play favorites Psalm 139

  • He knew their heart needs.
  • He knew the attitudes behind their words.
  • He knew they must soon face life without His physical presence.
  • He knew they must be prepared for other days when it might seem He refused to come when they called.

From that perfect knowing, Jesus chose what gift to give each precious child.

Just so, our heavenly Father knows what’s best for us. And we can be confident that’s exactly what He’ll give!

Thanks for coming by to visit today. Blessings, friends!

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“Every good & perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of Lights. ~James 1:17~

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“Search me, O God & know my heart. Try me & know my anxious thoughts.” ~Psalm 139:23~

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Did you ever feel like God was playing favorites & you were being purposely left out?

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God’s bedside manner

Renee Ann Smith —  November 12, 2012 — 37 Comments

I have sat by too many bedsides.

Six, to be exact.

You’re thinking that’s not so many. That my number is not as great as a hospice worker’s or doctor’s or Mother Teresa’s. But it looms large to me.

Two were easy, actually. In 1999, I stayed with, first, my Tennessee sister and then my South Carolina sister while they recovered from serious surgeries. Since my sisters were strong and healthy, they healed quickly. I mostly snacked and juiced and entertained them until they were ready to go home. Easy assignments that didn’t greatly impact my life.

But every other bedside vigil involved tears and heartache and passionate petitions to God.

  • In June 2000, a group of us teachers huddled in an ICU waiting room while my cancer-ridden co-worker and apartment mate silently slipped away. She was thirty-two and left behind many unfulfilled dreams—including marrying a man in uniform!
  • In July 2009, my big brother died of lung disease in a sterile ICU. I sat alone by his side because he had he so completely alienated exes and children and those he once called friends.
  • From August 2009 to February 2010, I spent almost every day with my best friend, keeping watch as breast cancer ravaged her body. Her battle was short and vicious. But her faith flamed like a beacon in the night. Many found Christ because of her testimony.

Now it is my mother’s time.

I began sitting by her bedside when she lived with me and experienced her first mini-strokes. Mom calling my name or wandering around the apartment would wake me in the night. I would sit in the pink fuzzy chair in her room and calm her until she slept.

Because of the mini-strokes and complications with her emphysema, we had to move Mom to a nursing home in February. There, my dedicated oldest sister has taken the lion’s share of responsibility for keeping her company. I share the vigils as best I can and wonder how much more my mother can take.

But white matter damage (brain stuff), dementia, and old-age are slow destroyers. Night after night, Mom struggles with fear and confusion. She yells until she’s hoarse, calling for help and comfort—even when someone is sitting right by her side.

Though my mother’s battle does not seem to have an end in sight, I believe that God cherishes her and trust He has a plan. I cling to the evidence that this is so.

Your eyes saw [my mother’s] unformed body. And all the days ordained for [her] were written in Your book before one of them came to be. Psalm 139:16

You have kept count of my [mother’s] tossings and put [her] tears in Your bottle. Are they not in Your book? Psalm 56:8

And I wonder how often I am like my mom—calling out for the care and attention of my Heavenly Father, believing He has abandoned me, when all the time He has been keeping watch by my side.

(Click here to tweet this encouraging quote to your friends.)

These words from Corrie Ten Boom remind me that even in the worst circumstances, God is there. He may remain silent, but He is keeping watch.

So be comforted, my soul, and wait patiently for Him. He never abandons His own.

Today I linked up with Kris Camealy’s Weekend Wanderings at her excellent blog, Always Alleluia! Continue Reading…

The ties that bind

Renee Ann Smith —  September 26, 2010 — 22 Comments

A photo of my grandmother, Marion Rossman Mann, with tablecloths she crocheted.

My grandmother loved to knit, tat, and crochet. She embellished the edges of plain cotton pillowcases and handkerchiefs with tatting, a delicate lace made by looping and knotting a single cotton thread. She crocheted beautiful doilies and tablecloths, which now grace the homes of her children and grandchildren.

And, of course, she made practical items, cranking out mittens and slippers faster than any cottage industry. In fact, Nannie became so proficient at mitten production that in her later years (she lived to be 102), the only diagram she needed was a rough tracing of a little hand on some old scrap of paper. Then she went to work, giving life to her creation from the patterns stored in her memory.

Sometimes a family member would ask for a specific color or buy a skein of yarn for her to make into something special. But I found I was most satisfied when I simply let her create. Then whatever piece I chose carried the style and design that was uniquely hers.

Even our college roommates recognized Nannie-made mittens and asked for them as Christmas gifts.

In the same way, each creation of our Heavenly Father illustrates His distinctive flair for design—including you and me. Continue Reading…