With your very own hands you formed me.
What a liberating truth, plucked from the humble declaration of a poet, someone who accepted and even lived into a timeless reality: every single person is fearfully and wonderfully made by our loving creator.
A couple of weeks ago I shared on Facebook a video of Ellie Holcomb singing Wonderfully Made.
But what if I saw me, the way that You see me? What if I believed it was true? What if I traded this shame and self-hatred? For a chance at believing You
That You knit me together In my mother's womb And You say that I've never been Hidden from You And You say that I'm wonderfully Wonderfully made
Sandwiched in the middle of her performance are the words of another poet – Gloria Umanah – who forcefully recites the personal implications of this liberating truth. Based on Psalm 139, I encourage you to read it and then listen to the song. You can find the prompt below.
Not yet. Do it later. I have a question for you.
With your very own hands you formed me. But then what?
We need only to check the label on our souls – lovingly hand made in heaven – to stop the downward spiral into an empty and aimless wandering. We are fearfully and wonderfully made by God. He did a good job of creating people in his image.
But where do we go with that knowledge? What is the path upwards and onwards out of our despair?
Think back to your childhood. Do you remember what happened to your clothes before you headed off to camp? Sparing your favorite hoodie from a lonely existence in the lost & found box after you threw it on the cabin floor, your parent or grandparent lovingly wrote your family name on the label with a marking pen.
The writing on that label became a proclamation of ownership. This item belongs to someone. It is precious.
Yes, you are wonderfully made. But you also belong to the One …
… who knitted you in your mother’s womb
… from whom you have never been hidden
… who paid a dear price for your soul.
Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your bodies. *
You belong to God. He lovingly wrote his name on your life and claims you as his own. You are precious to him.
But then what? The question is clarified by changing to another biblical image.
We are the clay, you are the potter; we are all the work of your hand.**
Yes, you are made by God. Wonderfully made. But don’t stop there.
May your life – every day, every hour – be a continual pleading with and giving permission to shape you as he sees fit. Like a potter does with the clay.
Here are the words of one who spoke lovingly to the Potter. May they give birth to your own words.
With your very own hands you formed me; now breathe your wisdom over me so I can understand you. When they see me waiting, expecting your Word, those who fear you will take heart and be glad. I can see now, God, that your decisions are right; your testing has taught me what’s true and right. Oh, love me—and right now!—hold me tight! just the way you promised. Now comfort me so I can live, really live; your revelation is the tune I dance to. Let the fast-talking tricksters be exposed as frauds; they tried to sell me a bill of goods, but I kept my mind fixed on your counsel. Let those who fear you turn to me for evidence of your wise guidance. And let me live whole and holy, soul and body, so I can always walk with my head held high.
Psalm 119:73-80 The Message
Benediction of Blessing:
May you have the grace to see yourself as lovingly crafted by your Creator, and extend that truth to everyone one you meet.
May you live with the wonderful knowledge that God has placed his family name on the label of your soul.
May you let the potter shape you as he wishes and by whatever means.
Note: Every other week the Blue Spigot includes a section of Psalm 119, a prayer from David that serves well as our prayer, asking God to rekindle in us a love for his word – both the Living Word, Jesus Christ, and the written version (the Bible). Pray it aloud. Pray it thoughtfully. And pray it several times over the next two weeks.
* I Corinthians 6:19-20
** Isaiah 64:8
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All Scripture quotations, unless otherwise indicated, are taken from the Holy Bible, New International Version, NIV. Copyright 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc. TM