December 27, 2015
I want to introduce you to Micah Smith. Micah serves as our Chief Sowing Strategist on the Seedbed Farm Team. This means she does just about everything. As you will see below, she also contributes real depth of soul to our work. That’s one of the things I love about our team. One minute she builds a website for a new book and the next she “rightly divides the word of truth.” Micah is married to Adam and they have one child, Wesley, who is two years old in every way but his age, which turns in about nine months. If Seedbed had a mascot, Wesley would be it. You are about to step on some holy ground, so prepare yourself.
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.
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.
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,[a] 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.
I don’t know a lot of people who willingly sit through hardship, but I do know a lot of people who run from it. I’m a runner for sure. I’ll run from everybody—from friends, from family, from myself, and especially from the Lord. I don’t understand that instinct to retreat from all the people who desperately want to sit with you in grief. I don’t like it, either, but I do know that it’s real.
Last month, I ran from a miscarriage. In the limbo of whether or not the pregnancy would progress, I put our sonogram against Psalm 139 in my Bible while, “For you formed my inward parts; You wove me in my mother’s womb” played on repeat inside my head for weeks. When we lost the baby, I dropped down a few lines and let verse 16 comfort me: “Your eyes have seen my unformed substance; and in Your book were all written the days that were ordained for me when as yet here was not one of them.” These were things I always knew, but not things my heart had to feel before.
Fast forward to today. As I’ve prayed for a “True North” verse for the coming year, I can’t get past Psalm 139. It’s too loud. So I zoomed out a bit and stopped with my obsessive focus on verse 14. As it turns out, Psalm 139 is so much more expansive than the hand-lettered nursery art it’s so often reduced to.
Psalm 139 is about a chase. It’s about running, but being hemmed in by a relentless grace. It’s about being profoundly known, no matter how much you’d like to stay hidden. It’s about how the Lord knows no darkness, and about how he made us and loved us before the beginning. All of us. Even me, and even you.
Honestly, I’m terrified to be humbled this way. I think David was scared, too. So I guess this coming year I’ll have to let his submission be my guide. He let himself be caught. Then he took the Father’s hand and was led in the everlasting way.
That’s my prayer for you and for me this year. May we stop running and let ourselves be known. May we let holy love hem us in and shape us into people we didn’t believe we could be.
- When have you found yourself running? Was it from something good, or from something hard?
- How would a willingness to be known impact our relationships with one another?
- How would our day to day lives change if we stopped running and let ourselves me caught?
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J.D. Walt serves as Seedbed’s Sower in Chief. firstname.lastname@example.org.