Text: Psalm 139:1-18
“How precious to me are your thoughts, O God! How vast is the sum of them! If I would count them, they are more than the sand. I awake, and I am still with you.” Psalm 139:17-18
Our youngest daughter, Mackenzie, recently got a butterfly growing kit as part of a science project. This educational kit has everything you need to raise your own beautiful butterflies before releasing them into the wild. Within just a few weeks, you can watch three stages of the life of a butterfly—from a caterpillar, to a chrysalis, and eventually emergent as a colorful and vibrant Painted Lady Butterfly. Mackenzie got so excited over seeing each stage of this captivating metamorphosis.
Sometimes I wonder what it must be like for God to look into the various stages of our lives and watch our spiritual ‘metamorphosis’ take place. Is He as intrigued with that process, as my daughter is with her treasured little caterpillars? How deeply is He attuned to our struggle? Just how intently does he peek in on our journey from one stage to the next?
At times, it may feel like the God of this universe is too engrossed with all the troubles in the world to have any time to glance in on the little details of our lives. With so many societal problems, why would God waste any of His precious time peeking in on the trivial things that we may face each day? Yet the Bible gives us an entirely different picture of our Heavenly Father.
From the Psalms we find that there is no place that we can flee from God’s presence, that God formed all of our intricate parts and knitted us together in our mother’s womb, that we are fearfully and wonderfully made, that God’s gaze was even upon our unformed substance, and that all of our days were already written in God’s book before we ever saw the light of day (Psalm 139:7-16).
God told Jeremiah, “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, and before you were born I consecrated you; I appointed you a prophet to the nations” (Jeremiah 1:5 ESV). Jesus assured his followers that there was nothing about their lives that God was not fully aware of when he said, “Indeed, the very hairs of your head are all numbered” (Luke 12:7 NIV).
In his old age (Psalm 37:25), King David wrote Psalm 37 as a reflection of the wisdom he had gleaned from years of walking with God. He declared: “The LORD directs the steps of the godly. He delights in every detail of their lives” (Psalm 37:23 NLT).
Does God Dance?
Zephaniah gave us breathtaking imagery about God’s intimate affection over our lives: “The LORD your God is in your midst,” he says. “A mighty one who will save; he will rejoice over you with gladness; he will quiet you by his love; he will exult over you with loud singing” (Zephaniah 3:17). The phrase “rejoice over you” is dazzling in the Hebrew language. Rejoice is translated from a primitive root word that means to “spin around under violent emotion,” or basically to dance in exultation. So it literally means to “dance, skip, leap, or spin around in joy.” Yes, the God of this universe dances over us with shouts of joy!
These verses not only show us that God delights in our way, but that He is intimately familiar with, and keenly aware of, every aspect of our lives. He studies us intently. He watches over us affectionately. He searches our hearts intensely. He rejoices over us in a passionate display of a father’s love. He even dances! God is crazy about His creation. And the more I read about His tender watch over my life, the more I can trust Him with all that weighs on my heart. This is a God that you can, in the words of Peter, “cast all your anxieties on” because he cares for you more than you can ever imagine, beloved (1 Peter 5:7). Think about that as you seek to abide in Him this week.
Heavenly Father, thank you for your gaze upon the intricacies of our lives. You are concerned with every detail of our lives. You watch over us with tenderness and affection. Give us a fresh revelation of how you rejoice over us. Not necessarily for our own need to be valued, but for your worthiness to be praised—that we would worship you in the beauty of your holiness. In Jesus’ name we pray, Amen.
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Questions for Reflection and/or Family Discussion:
- In what ways can the metamorphosis of a caterpillar into a butterfly relate to the spiritual growth stages of your life?
- Is it challenging for you to believe that God is perpetually attuned to every aspect of your life—even the seemingly trivial things?
- What kind of thoughts or emotions are evoked in you when you read Zephaniah 3:17?
- Why do you think that God wants us to know that we are “fearfully” and “wonderfully” made, and that His thoughts toward us are “more than the sand” (Psalm 139:13-18)? What should that produce in us?
- How should the scriptural passages in this week’s devotion shape the way you worship God and serve Him this week?
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