Words, both written and spoken, are powerful. Imagine the relationships you cherish without words. Have you ever wondered how you would communicate your thoughts and feelings without words? How would we even know who we are without words? Even with words, so many of us struggle deeply with our identity. How much more without them? Unfortunately, we often attach too much importance to what others say and allow their words to shape us, which can be detrimental. In truth, how we answer the question: “Who am I?” often dictates how we think and what we do with our lives. Words are equally important to God. They are His primary medium of communication with us. We would struggle to comprehend His nature and character without words. Our lives would also be poorer without His precepts and promises, and we would have no way of partaking in His divine nature either [2 Peter 1:3-4]. Besides, there is no abundant life without the Word [John 10:10].
Last week, I had to confront my identity and my unhealthy longing for the affirmation of others. It was painful to dig up events in my past that created life-shaping paradigms and have plagued my relationships ever since. But God met with me in my brokenness, and in my distress, someone read out the beautiful words of Psalm 139. But rather than hearing it through David’s lens, something within prompted me to receive it from God’s perspective instead. I know I am not the only person struggling with identity and affirmation. So, this week, I have taken the creative liberty to rewrite the first seventeen verses of Psalm 139 from the Passion translation from God’s perspective – as though it was His love letter to us. Obviously, I had to move the pronouns around, which meant I had to make slight tweaks to the wording. But I have kept it as close to the original as possible.
I chose the Passion translation because those of us who know the Psalm can get overly familiar with the words and gloss over them without assimilating them into our innermost being. I hope the somewhat unfamiliarity of the Passion translation will compel you to slow down and take in this Psalm afresh. I believe these are affirming, life-altering words for those who grasp them. You have an origin, and the words that shape you matter. There is One who knows your story intimately. Let Him speak to you this week:
I, the Lord God, know everything there is to know about you. I perceive every movement of your heart and soul, and I understand your every thought before it even enters your mind.
I am so intimately aware of you, My child. I read your heart like an open book, and I know all the words you are about to speak before you even start a sentence! I know every step you will take before your journey even begins.
I have gone into your future to prepare the way, and in kindness, I follow behind you to spare you from the harm of your past. I have laid My hand on you! I know all that is wonderful, deep, and incomprehensible to you! Yet, My understanding of you should bring you wonder and strength.
Where could you go from My Spirit? Where could you run and hide from My face? If you go up to heaven, I am there! If you go down to the realm of the dead, I am there too! If you fly with wings into the shining dawn, I am there! If you fly into the radiant sunset, I am there waiting! Wherever you go, My hand will guide you; My strength will empower you.
It is impossible for you to disappear from Me or to ask the darkness to hide you, for My presence is everywhere, bringing light into your night. There is no such thing as darkness with Me. The night, to Me, is as bright as the day; there’s no difference between the two.
I formed your innermost being, shaped you delicately inside and intricately outside, and wove you together in your mother’s womb. I delight in you, I made you so mysteriously complex! I endowed you with marvellous potential because I made you in My image and likeness. I love you! How thoroughly I know you, My child!
I formed every bone in your body when I created you in the secret place; carefully, skilfully, I shaped you from nothing to something. I knew who I made you to be before you became you! Before you ever saw the light of day, I recorded the number of days I planned for you in My book.
Every single moment, I am thinking of you! How precious and wonderful those moments you turn your thoughts towards me. I cherish them! O My child, My desires toward you are more than the grains of sand on every shore! When you awake each morning, remember I am with you.
You are significant. You matter to God because you were born. He is for you [Romans 8:31]! He loves you as though you were the only human that ever existed. So, if you struggle to accept who you are, yearn for others to affirm you and say you matter, or strive and fail to become a better version of who you think you should be. Sit with these words; cry out to the One who placed you in your mother’s womb from your place of brokenness and allow Him to pour His grace on you. He will do so lavishly [Ephesians 1:7-8].