Psalms 139:5 – In Him And In Hem

Posted: December 5, 2013 in Proverbs 31 OBS
Tags: ,

This week’s reading: Chapter 9 “When Doubt Whispers I Can’t Stop Worrying” from “A Confident Heart” by Renee Swope 

O L ord , you have examined my heart and know everything about me. You know when I sit down or stand up. You know my thoughts even when I’m far away. You see me when I travel and when I rest at home. You know everything I do. You know what I am going to say even before I say it, L ord . You go before me and follow me. You place your hand of blessing on my head. Such knowledge is too wonderful for me, too great for me to understand! I can never escape from your Spirit! I can never get away from your presence! If I go up to heaven, you are there; if I go down to the grave, you are there. If I ride the wings of the morning, if I dwell by the farthest oceans, even there your hand will guide me, and your strength will support me. I could ask the darkness to hide me and the light around me to become night— but even in darkness I cannot hide from you. To you the night shines as bright as day. Darkness and light are the same to you. (Psalms 139:1-12 NLT)

I started looking at Psalms 139 in detail yesterday, alone in my minivan, parked outside of one of my children’s schools. In the midst of learning that a seller actually accepted our offer on a house, trying to make Christmas gifts, organizing house inspections, running three kids everywhere…God put an overwhelming burden on my heart to re-read this chapter in the Bible as well as chapter 9 from A Confident Heart. Because there was no other time or place I could be truly alone and still, I found myself there, in the front seat, with my trusted iPhone and apps studying away. 

And God showed me so many things in this incredible time together. 

As Renee mentioned in the chapter, our time with God can be different…it’s okay for us moms to get that quick glimpse of our Dad in the morning, talk with Him throughout the day and get our shoulder time in when God makes it possible. I was so glad when she admitted she needed variety – that’s me! I have literally used my Evernote, my Bible app (Youversion), my Kindle app, my Biblegateway app and my newest NIV Study Bible app to give me the flexibility to go deeper whenever and wherever I can…it’s AWESOME!!! From keeping an ongoing list of verses with my name in them from my Abba Daddy Himself on my Evernote, to recording times where God spoke, to highlighting verses, hearing His Word while I’m out and making notes of the dates each verse was found and what was going on in my life….for me, a tech momma, this portability has made me able to listen to Him so much more…and more frequently too πŸ™‚ 


With all of this aside – I started focusing on Psalms 139:5. No doubt you, like me, started reading the above passage and you just read each sentence while taking a deeper breath…right? It just flows! There are no misleading statements, nothing that keeps you from agreeing…right? 

Then I read the NIV…

Psalm 139:4-5 NIV
[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.

I guess first of all, I should mention that I can’t sew, let alone hem. My partial blindness from birth makes the accuracy pretty much impossible. After dealing with the sewing projects in dreaded home economics class, I pretty much made up my mind that anything involving a needle and thread shouted, “Don’t come near!” As I started studying this passage, I literally looked-up the definition of hem…

HEM – To hem someone/something in – to be surrounded, restricted the space or movement of (He was hemmed in by the tables) – NIV Study Bible App 

In other words, “Lord, You surround me/I can’t move anywhere that You are not overwhelming

And then we move on to…

and you lay your hand upon me. NIV 

To have someone put their hands on you was a gesture of blessing. I like to picture this moment as Jesus rose from the dead, the Father placing His Hands on my shoulders, calling me His Child and finally being able to be held by His inseparable embrace. That, my friend, is not a blessing you can keep to yourself. It’s not a blessing that simply goes away. Oh no…it defines you, it becomes who you are…it has saved you.

Altogether now…

“Lord, You surround me/I can’t move anywhere that You are not overwhelming and Your blessing has given me life (both here on earth and an eternity in Heaven). 

Whew…kind of deep for a lil psalm…right? 

So, although this is great…what in the world connects this to the concept of worry? Well, I’m glad you asked…because I was thinking the same thing! 

Here is what I gained from my reading about worry – quoting from my post to my ladies in our Facebook group – 

What do you think about this… Worry is our emotional response to believing in a lie (or lies) that satan is feeding us through people and our perception of circumstances. Once we believe these lies and worry takes root, we experience stress, anxiety, fear…almost as if we have indeed lost our footing (and if we sink into depression we start to think we will never regain that footing again).


If we MAKE the time to really allow God to show us Who He is (both through His Word and in our lives) and we START by believing in His promises, the lies can’t take root in the first place. Our hearts are whole and protected by Him and through Him which gives us HOPE and REST.

Am I on the right track here?! I really wanted to DEFINE worry and where it comes from…still chewing on this… THOUGHTS??
I’m currently not on any medication, but remaining in touch with a counselor in our area for updates. I have personally witnessed what a change can be made experiencing the breath of God and allowing His Truth to literally define me as a person. It has not only allowed me to view myself as loved, irreplaceable, valued, secure, safe and wanted – but it has allowed me to really love others in such a deep, new and confident way. It has literally changed my life…it has saved my life. 

Granted, I’m sure I will be going back on at least anxiety medication soon (hello…I am a mom of three boys…enough said) yet…guess what…I know my Abba Daddy, I know He surounds me, He loves me, He embraces me, He has blessed me, He has changed me and He has adopted me in as His own! Just WOW!!! You seriously can’t allow worry to stay when you rest in His presence – it’s IMPOSSIBLE! And I can say that too…I know real worry and I know our REAL GOD!!! πŸ™‚ 

In summary…we are His, in hem and in Him. 
Soak it in.
Live it out. 




  1. Dianna says:

    Love the visual picture of the hem in sewing terms – that’s how I see it too – I am tightly and securely sewn between God…and…God! He goes before me to prepare the way…He goes behind me to protect and prod when necessary…BUT…He walks beside me to encourage and support me…to help me up when I fall…He places His Hand upon my head…wow…I just feel His love with this simple gesture, as I love my grandchildren when I place my hand on their head…Blessings, Sister ~ Dianna ❀

  2. Mary Bankert says:

    Fantastic message. Thank you for posting this! πŸ™‚ I am happy to be hemmed in! πŸ™‚

  3. Wonderful message-Thank you for sharing!

  4. msmom1365 says:

    Great thoughts, Bethany!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s