I beg for this to be taken from me.
His answer remains No. Softly He whispers His Grace is sufficient for me. Doug says one day Paul and I will have some interesting discussions. Maybe so.
Psalm 139 I am memorizing right now. Mostly because it teaches and calms, reminds and refreshes. But also because it reminds me that David was a struggler too. Many times he came undone. But always he Clung. He was a moody and sometimes irrational man - certainly never got it all together. But still God cared for him, even used him. For His glory.
(I tell myself)
O LORD, you have searched me and you know me.
You know when I sit and when I rise; you perceive my thoughts from afar.
You discern my going out and my lying down; you are familiar with all my ways.
Before a word is on my tongue you know it completely, O LORD.
You hem me in--behind and before; you have laid your hand upon me. Such knowledge is too wonderful for me, too lofty for me to attain.
(My friend Susan in Minnesota was the first person to ever pray being "hemmed in" over me. I will never forget it. Such a beautiful word picture.)
Where can I go from your Spirit? Where can I flee from your presence? If I go up to the heavens, you are there; if I make my bed in the depths, you are there. If I rise on the wings of the dawn, if I settle on the far side of the sea, even there your hand will guide me, your right hand will hold me fast.
(He is there before I am, always with me, always before and after me. How comforting.)
If I say, "Surely the darkness will hide me and the light become night around me," even the darkness will not be dark to you; the night will shine like the day, for darkness is as light to you.
(And this, it gets me everytime. It reminds me that even in the weakest moments of my life He held me, knew me. That time of my life was an abandoned time, as far as I see it. These words beg to differ, argue with me, plead with me to see Truth. I fight them, but Truth stands strong and makes me look again. These words both deflate the power my abandonment in infancy holds over me and then inflates it for His Glory.)
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. My frame was not hidden from you when I was made in the secret place. When I was woven together in the depths of the earth, your eyes saw my unformed body. All the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be.
(Sigh. I can not deny He has a Plan for my life, even my brokenness.)
How precious to me are your thoughts, O God! How vast is the sum of them!
Were I to count them, they would outnumber the grains of sand. When I awake, I am still with you.
(I LOVE HOW DAVIDS RAW EMOTIONS BURST FORTH HERE - HE HOLDS NOTHING BACK, CHANGES THE SUBJECT, BECOMES NOTHING SHORT OF UNDONE. Thats the kind of guy he was - deeply emotional.)
If only you would slay the wicked, O God! Away from me, you bloodthirsty men! They speak of you with evil intent; your adversaries misuse your name. Do I not hate those who hate you, O LORD, and abhor those who rise up against you? I have nothing but hatred for them; I count them my enemies.
(Annnd calm again)
Search me, O God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.
(I began intentionally praying these last two sentences on a weekly basis over 6 years ago now. Some might connect the dots as to how those pleadings have been answered with me being able to see my sinful ways differently/clearly/painfully. I will continue right on praying them, but now with the rest too. No pun intended.)
P.S. All pics taken during our epic field trip time in Yellowstone/Jackson Hole exactly two years ago this week.