Psalms 139:13-16 ESV
“For you formed my inward parts;
you knitted me together in my mother’s womb.
I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made.
Wonderful are your works;
my soul knows it very well.
My frame was not hidden from you,
when I was being made in secret,
intricately woven in the depths of the earth.
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.”
He Knit Me Together
For some people, these words are an immediate comfort. They had loving parents. They had physically and emotionally healthy environments. They can look back on their childhood with great joy and wonderful memories of their childhoods. Even their church upbringing was a positive experience for them in every way. Now public school might have been a challenge, at times, for I think it is for everyone, but overall they can look back over their lives with a genuine smile on their faces and feel good about their pasts.
Not everyone is as fortunate as them, sad to say. Not everyone had loving parents or two parents in the home or even their own birth parents. Not everyone grew up in homes where they felt safe and secure. Not everyone lives in countries and cities where they feel safe and secure, either. There are many abusers out there who take advantage of the weak and vulnerable and they hurt them in many different ways. And some of them are fathers or mothers, or they could be aunts or uncles or cousins or siblings, etc.
So, what do you do with this passage of Scripture if you were abused as a child, if you were raped by a parent or another relative, or if you were beaten physically or abused emotionally by a parent or another relative? And what do you do with it if you had called out to God in prayer in your tears and you begged him to rescue you, but he didn’t rescue you? He left you in that environment, and so the abuse continued. How would you reconcile all those confusing feelings and thoughts with your faith in God?
For, do you comprehend what this is saying here? God/Jesus formed us and he knitted us together in the wombs of our mothers. It was his choice and it was his will to put us in the families we grew up in, and he knew in advance how we were going to be treated. And yet those were the environments he chose for us. Those were the parents he chose for us. The experiences that we went through in this life that were beyond our control, i.e. that were not our own choices, were all within his perfect plan for our lives.
So, how do you reconcile that knowledge with the teachings on the love of God? If you have not been there ever you may not have a clue what I am talking about, but you may understand. But these are things that those who have been abused, especially the severely abused, have to reconcile in their own hearts and minds. And not everyone ever comes to that place of reconciliation to where they can accept the fact that a loving God would have willfully put them in such abusive environments and homes and families.
I know that in my own mind that I had decided that God was incapable of rescuing me. He was there to comfort me, yes, but he could do nothing about my circumstances. Man had control over me that God could do nothing about, in my mind. And I can recall this one time when I was in a situation where I was being abused by a pastor and elders and when I was withdrawing and escaping the pain, and God clearly told me that I needed to stop running away and I needed to fight this thing through. I answered him with, “But God, you don’t understand!” I really believed that he didn’t.
Reconciling it All
Honestly, I was 52 years old before I was finally able to reconcile that in my mind. I had to come to the place where I accepted the sovereignty of God over my life and where I had to yield to him fully and trust him in all circumstances. And I had to forgive Jesus for not rescuing me from all the abusive situations I faced in my life, and there were many of those. Did Jesus do wrong by me? No! But I had to let go of that hurt that I carried in my heart and I had to yield absolute control of my life over to God.
Another thing I had to understand was that Jesus conquered sin on that cross for me. I still had the feeling that Satan had power over me and that God could not rescue me. I still sometimes fought off Satan’s attacks against my mind with my arms crossed in front of my face like I did when I knew my dad was going to strike me. I had to come to the understanding that Jesus had already won that battle for me. I just had to take up that sword of the Spirit and fight Satan’s lies against me like I believed that this battle was already won for me. I had to learn to fight Satan offensively and not just defensively. And I believe many people need to learn to do that.
So, then how did I reconcile in my mind and heart that God put me in that home and he allowed all those bad things to happen to me, not just at my home, but at other people’s homes, and at church, too? I had to accept his sovereignty over my life. I had to accept that all that I went through and am still going through serves a purpose, and ultimately it was and is for my good. Does that make it hurt less? No! Abuse still hurts. I am still human. I still cry. I still feel pain. But I accept that God has allowed all of this to make me who I am so he can use me in the way he is using me today.
If I had not gone through the things I have gone through, and am still going through, I would not be the person I am today doing what I am doing. I would not have the knowledge or the compassion or the understanding that I now have because of what I have suffered and am still suffering. God allowed all these experiences in my life to prepare me and to equip me for the ministry to which he called me 18 years ago, two years after I forgave Jesus and accepted God’s sovereignty over my life.
These were and are the days that were formed for me, when as yet there was none of them. This was God’s design for my life from even before he created the world, and even before I was formed in the womb of my mother. And all this was so that I would now be writing what God gives me to write, including writing devotions and songs and poems and a book and now doing talk videos, too. If I had not suffered what I suffered I would not be who I am today and I would not be prepared for this ministry, nor would I be able to endure the persecution that sometimes accompanies what I do.
Psalms 139:23-24 ESV
“Search me, O God, and know my heart!
Try me and know my thoughts!
And see if there be any grievous way in me,
and lead me in the way everlasting!”
So, if you have experienced anything like what I did, and if you have struggled with the emotions of that, and with reconciling how a loving God could knit you together in the womb of a mother and place you in a family where he knew you would be severely abused, then I hope this encouraged your heart and that you will be able to accept God’s sovereignty over your life and to yield to his plan and purpose for your life.
And then let him lead you in the way that he would have you to go and trust him completely with your life and do what he is calling you to do!
A Believer’s Prayer
An Original Work / July 31, 2012
With my whole heart, Lord, I pray
To be Yours, and Yours always.
Lead me in Your truth today.
May I love You, and obey.
Lead me in Your righteousness.
When I sin, may I confess;
Bow before You when I pray;
Live for You and You always.
Love You, Jesus, You’re my friend.
Life with You will never end.
You are with me through each day,
Giving love and peace always.
You will ne’er abandon me.
From my sin You set me free.
You died on that cruel tree,
So I’d live eternally.
Soon You’re coming back for me;
From this world to set me free;
Live with You eternally.
Oh, what joy that brings to me.
I will walk with You in white;
A pure bride, I’ve been made right
By the blood of Jesus Christ;
Pardoned by His sacrifice.