Saturday, February 12, 2011

Misunderstanding & Psalm 139

It's easy to be misunderstood now-a-days. It's hard enough to say what you really mean face to face, much less communicate clearly via email, texting, facebook and a myriad of other social networking tools. It's very likely that something is almost always lost in translation.

I have a problem of wondering and worrying if what I meant to communicate is actually what was communicated. I analyze. No need for a tape recorder, I can replay a conversation a million times over in my head. And believe me, I do. Thinking I should've said this or I shouldn't have said that. I can't tell you how many times I have immediately, upon leaving someones' presence, contacted them in some form to re-explain what I "really meant."

Why? Because I want everyone to like me. I want everyone to be happy with me. If I even suspect that someone is displeased with me it just eats away at my mind and heart. It consumes my every thought until I have somehow resolved the matter.

I know this isn't healthy. I do it ALL. THE. TIME! Tonight as I was driving home from a party I fell into one of these things. It was dumb. I had been talking and joking around with several people that I don't even know and as I drove away I began to fear that I had offended them in some way. I analyzed and I worried and I replayed my words in my head to the point of giving myself a headache. Ugh!

I thought, "Wouldn't it be nice if we could just know for sure that everyone always understood exactly what we meant when we said something? Wouldn't it reduce a lot of stress if people could always understand the sarcasm, the joking, the "dry humor" or the meaning of the ideas that we just can't express clearly enough to one another?"

And then, as it often does, God's Word hit me like a ton of bricks.

Psalm 139
1 You have searched me, LORD,
and you know me.
2 You know when I sit and when I rise;
you perceive my thoughts from afar.
3 You discern my going out and my lying down;
you are familiar with all my ways.
4 Before a word is on my tongue
you, LORD, know it completely.
5 You hem me in behind and before,
and you lay your hand upon me.
6 Such knowledge is too wonderful for me,
too lofty for me to attain.

I am reading these words in a new way tonight and I'm so thankful for the living Word of God! What this tells me is that he always understands me. When I am trying to be silly and someone else doesn't get it--God does. When I can't think fast enough to explain what is going on in my head, God gets it. Before the words even come out of my mouth He knows them. He is familiar with me. He gets me, completely.

Even more mind boggling is that not only does he get me--he still loves me. I can't fathom it. He knows me. All the less than kind things that I think but don't say--he hears. All the plans I've had to hurt someone else but not carried out, he is aware of. The words and thoughts that spew from a heart that is so covered in mud it can barely beat...

7 Where can I go from your Spirit?
Where can I flee from your presence?
8 If I go up to the heavens, you are there;
if I make my bed in the depths, you are there.
9 If I rise on the wings of the dawn,
if I settle on the far side of the sea,
10 even there your hand will guide me,
your right hand will hold me fast.
11 If I say, “Surely the darkness will hide me
and the light become night around me,”
12 even the darkness will not be dark to you;
the night will shine like the day,
for darkness is as light to you.

I remember thinking when I was a teenager, "If someone really knew what went on inside my heart...if someone really knew the deep dark me, there is no way that they could love me." And the more I think about that today, it's probably true for the people in my life. But the Psalmist says here that there is no where to go from the Spirit. There is no past, no choice, no sin, no word or thought, no darkness that could ever keep away His Light. He knows all of my stuff, and yet:

13 For you created my inmost being;
you knit me together in my mother’s womb.
14 I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
your works are wonderful,
I know that full well.
15 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.
16 Your eyes saw my unformed body;
all the days ordained for me were written in your book
before one of them came to be.
17 How precious to me are your thoughts, God!
How vast is the sum of them!
18 Were I to count them,
they would outnumber the grains of sand—
when I awake, I am still with you.

He still made me--even my inmost being! How precious to me are the thoughts of my Lord and Savior. Nothing about me is hidden from Him and even so--he loves me more than any person on earth is even capable of. My unrelenting desire to secure the approval, validation or acceptance of man is life-sucking and it is futile. The need we have to be understood and yet loved was met before we were even created.

23 Search me, God, and know my heart;
test me and know my anxious thoughts.
24 See if there is any offensive way in me,
and lead me in the way everlasting.

Thank you, Lord, for having heard me, for having seen me, and for having always loved me. El Roi--you are precious to me. Amen.


  1. Keelie-I have no idea where I found your blog, but just wanted to let you know that I feel the same way! I am one of those people that constantly repeats conversations over and over again in my mind. I wonder if I should have said this or that. I wonder if I offend people. It drives me crazy...and it drives my husband crazy too because he says I'm too much of a worrier!! :) He's right!

    I feel (in my situation) that it has a lot to do with confidence or the lack there of. It's definitely a hard thing to let go of, but as I learn and grow and experience new trials, I find myself being more comfortable in my own skin. I am so grateful that with all my imperfections, the Lord knows my heart and he loves me no matter what. That knowledge is SO comforting.

    Anyways, thanks for the post...sorry for the "novel" that I wrote here! Jen

  2. The Holy Spirit must have led me to this post for it has been very uplifting for me. This passage of scripture has long been highlighted in my Bible. I constantly worry about what other people think of me; I do believe it has to do with low self-esteem, but God loves me no matter what. Thank you!