What a verse about babies has to say to you (mom)! - Psalm 139 {originally a baby shower devotional}

 
Psalm 139 What a verse about babies has to say to you (mom!) - (Baby Shower Devotional on Psalm 139)
 

The last time I was asked to give a devotional at a baby shower, I picked a super short verse that I love. This time, keeping it fresh, I picked a long passage to meditate on! I hope you'll join me in reflecting on the deep and sweet truths about God's qualities and how they apply to us as moms in Psalm 139.

I originally wrote this for a baby shower and just modified it slightly for the blog. 
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If you'd like a printable version of the verse, you can easily grab it as a pdf here. I joked with the ladies at the baby shower that I did this so they could awkwardly look at the papers instead of awkwardly looking at me. 

Psalm 139:1-16

(1) O Lord, you have searched me and known me!
(2) You know when I sit down and when I rise up;
    you discern my thoughts from afar.
(3) You search out my path and my lying down
    and are acquainted with all my ways.
(4) Even before a word is on my tongue,
    behold, O Lord, you know it altogether.
(5) You hem me in, behind and before,
    and lay your hand upon me.
(6) Such knowledge is too wonderful for me;
    it is high; I cannot attain it.

(7) Where shall I go from your Spirit?
    Or where shall I flee from your presence?
(8) If I ascend to heaven, you are there!
    If I make my bed in Sheol, you are there!
(9) If I take the wings of the morning
    and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea,
(10) even there your hand shall lead me,
    and your right hand shall hold me.
(11) If I say, “Surely the darkness shall cover me,
    and the light about me be night,”
(12) even the darkness is not dark to you;
    the night is bright as the day,
    for darkness is as light with you.

(13) For you formed my inward parts;
    you knitted me together in my mother's womb.
(14) I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made.
Wonderful are your works;
    my soul knows it very well.
(15) My frame was not hidden from you,
when I was being made in secret,
    intricately woven in the depths of the earth.
(16) Your eyes saw my unformed substance;
in your book were written, every one of them,
    the days that were formed for me,
    when as yet there was none of them.

This is one of those passages that is often used when thinking about babies as it paints us such beautiful pictures of God knitting together human life and caring for it. There is so much richness in this passage but we'll just skim the surface here to look how it can encourage us as moms. 

First, God knows all things and is also personally with us, leading us.

It is very obvious from this passage that God knows all things and is everywhere. For those of you doing children's catechism questions with your kids, these facts come up rather early:

  • (Question 10) Where is God? Everywhere.
  • (Question 12) Does God know all things? Yes, nothing can be hidden from God.
Dirty Floors and Psalm 139 - What a verse about babies has to do with you mama!

Sometimes it is easy for us to remember those Sunday School answers that God knows all things and is everywhere but to not really apply it to our individual situations. Verse 10 says, “Your hand shall lead me” and that is what we can hold on to. Even when we don’t quite understand how, we know that God is leading us. Even when we are exhausted, running on little sleep, and the second bowl of cereal has been spilled on the floor, God is with us.

Martin Luther famously preached a sermon where he talked about caring for babies (even though the quotation is directed towards dads) and he says, “God, with all his angels and creatures, is smiling, not because that father is washing diapers, but because he is doing so in Christian faith.”

Even though our days (especially with small children) can feel meaningless, when we go through our days exercising faith, we are bringing glory to God. If we remember that God ordained these things for us, remember that He knows what we would be doing on a specific Tuesday morning, and remember that He is with us and using those very tasks for our sanctification, it can help us put it in perspective and draw us closer to Him.

Secondly, God created us uniquely.

I think sometimes as women, regardless of our current specific situation, it can be so easy to compare ourselves to others and feel like less. I will often find home management checklists on Pinterest by other women that seem so obvious and simple for them (like menu planning or cleaning my house, although, full disclosure - I have really been liking this book) but I always fail at them. It's just not the way I work I guess.

It’s so easy to look at other moms and think that they are doing such a better job of being a mom. She must never yell at her kids. Her meals look amazingly delicious and healthy. Her house looks like it belongs in a Pottery Barn catalog.  She covers a lot more material in her homeschooling. She takes cuter pictures of her kids. The list can go on and on and on.

It comes too naturally for us admire certain features and qualities in our friends, acquaintances, or people we see online and end up coveting those things.

This passage isn’t just a verse about babies, it’s a verse about how we all were created too! This verse reminds us that God fearfully and wonderfully made each of us.

I want to encourage you moms to embrace who God has made you to be. Recognize that the limitations that you have are known by God and a part of your uniqueness.

I feel like whenever I do one of these devotions, I am always saying how being a mom leaves me exhausted. It feels a little ridiculous as I sit down to think about what to write and tiredness is what I always gravitate towards as I try to encourage others. So, even though I feel like a broken record, I go back to them because they are things I don’t get sick of hearing, I need to remind myself of these truths multiple times a day.

(This seems an appropriate time to insert a bunch of random pictures of me with my kiddos from the past couple of weeks that I {mostly} haven't posted on social media, so you can consider them "blog exclusives"...)

Being a mom has especially made my limitations and failures so evident. Our limitations are part of our humanness so they can remind us of all those things Psalm 139 says about God and how He is so different from us. Our limitations remind us that we so desperately need Jesus. Even if we are “doing everything right”, we will still fail because we are simply human.

God’s knowing and bringing all things to be (as verse 16 says that "our days were written before we were born”) can be such a hard thing to grasp. Especially when we aren’t sure what we should be doing next or when life is just hard.

As complicated as it can be to wrap our minds around, it is such a helpful reminder that we should rest in Him and go through our daily tasks remembering Him. We shouldn’t be comparing ourselves to others or beating ourselves up about the ways in which we don’t measure up. We have to look to Jesus in faith and rest in the completed work He has done for us. 

If you have a few minutes, go listen to "Wonderfully Made" by Ellie Holcomb here. It's so rich with the truths from this Psalm and I think you'll probably love it.