When Pastor Richard announced that he would preach on Psalm 139, I leaned toward my husband and whispered, “That’s Melody’s favorite psalm!”
His response was a silent quirk of his lips. Because, of course, Melody is the main character of my first novel. But she and I share a few characteristics, and our favorite psalm is one of them.
Psalm 139 assures me, whenever I need the reminder, that I am precious to God. I need that a lot.
One of those times was a few years ago, while my mother still fought cancer. I’d driven nine hours to spend time with her and Dad, and the night before my long, lonely drive home, I couldn’t sleep.
I knew the drive would be stressful and exhausting, I knew I needed to sleep, but sleep eluded me. I kept picturing I-5, that busy stretch of freeway through Tacoma, Seattle, Everett—all the way to the Canadian border. Yeah, stressful. Up to eight lanes wide, it gave me nightmares even though my eyes remained wide open.
Finally, I picked up my Bible and let it fall open to my favorite Psalm. Verse 5 jumped out at me: “You hem me in—behind and before…”
It was, indeed, a lightbulb moment. I saw God’s hemming as a cushion of protection, like a divine bubble wrap.
Peace flowed when I prayed, “Dear Lord, please do hem me in. Not just in front and in back of my car as I drive, but on both sides. I need Your protection. Wrap Your holy barrier around me and keep Your hand on me, I pray in Jesus’ name.”
I turned off the light and slept.
The next day, with praise and worship music turned up, I sang, prayed, and drove all the way home. God’s heavenly bubble of protection kept me safe.
Thank you, Jesus!