By Brooke Fossell
Psalm 139 begins with an acknowledgment that God knows everything there is to know about the psalm's author, who lists several places where he can’t hide from God. It ends with an intimate invitation for God to search him. Something significant happens in the middle. For me, verses 13-14 stand out as the reason for this shift.
“For you created my inmost being;
you knit me together in my mother’s womb.
I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
your works are wonderful,
I know that full well.”
You may not know this, but I have knitted many things, most of which became gifts. I believe my knitting experience parallels some aspects of God’s creative work that may have helped the psalmist to invite God to search him.
First, as a knitter, I think of the finished project. Is it something the recipient will enjoy? Will they enjoy the color and feel of the yarn? Is the size appropriate? As God knits us together in our mother’s womb, I think he, too, considers the recipient of his handiwork: our parents, our families, and us. He carefully puts together our physical attributes, our talents, our passions, and our quirks, so that we can delight in his creation of us.
Next, as I actually knit the project, I anticipate the pleasure of the recipient. I enjoy the process of creating, one loop at a time, a one-of-a-kind gift to share with them. The yarn feels good in my hands, and the rhythm of knitting gives me space to pray for my friend. As God “knits,” I believe he has a similar pleasure in the act of creating, anticipating our appreciation for his handiwork.
Finally, after hours of knitting and praying for them, I hand over the gift, watching for their face light up. I believe God eagerly watches to see if we appreciate his work in creating us. He has, after all, given us an intimate gift, out of great love: ourselves.
When I think about the care, thought, and love that went into God’s creation of me, I realize how well he knows every aspect of my being, and how he DELIGHTS in every aspect of me. Like the psalmist at the end of Psalm 139, I open myself to his search and to invite him to reveal changes I’ve made to His original design – changes He wants to make right with my cooperation.