Psalm 139-13 For thou hast possessed my reins: thou hast covered me in my mother’s womb.
Treasury of David, C.H. Spurgeon
“Thou hast covered me in my mother’s womb.” There I lay hidden – covered by thee. Before I could know thee, or aught else, thou hadst a care for me, and didst hide me away as a treasure till thou shouldst see fit to bring me to the light. Thus the Psalmist describes the intimacy which God had with him. In his most secret part – his reins, and in his most secret condition – yet unborn, he was under the control and guardianship of God. If we are marvelously wrought upon even before we are born, what shall we say of the Lord’s dealings with us after we quit his secret workshop, and he directs our pathway through the pilgrimage of life? What shall we not say of that new birth which is even more mysterious than the first, and exhibits even more the love and wisdom of the Lord.
Psalm 139-15 My substance was not hid from thee, when I was made in secret, and curiously wrought in the lowest parts of the earth.
Treasury of David, C.H. Spurgeon
“My substance was not hid from thee.” The substantial part of my being was before thine all-seeing eye; the bones which make my frame were put together by thine hand. The essential materials of my being before they were arranged were all within the range of thine eye. I was hidden from all human knowledge, but not from thee: thou hast ever been intimately acquainted with me.
“When I was made in secret.” Most chastely and beautifully is here described the formation of our being before the time of our birth. A great artist will often labour alone in his studio, and not suffer his work to be seen until it is finished; even so did the Lord fashion us where no eye beheld us, and the veil was not lifted till every member was complete. Much of the formation of our inner man still proceeds in secret; hence the more of solitude the better for us.
“And curiously wrought it in the lowest parts of the earth.” “Embroidered with great skill,” is an accurate poetical description of the creation of veins, sinews, muscles, nerves, etc. What tapestry can equal the human fabric?
Remembering my dad…
My father first heard the Gospel when he was in his 70’s. He did not respond favorably because he did not like the conflict and division it caused within the family. My father was born in Italy where almost everyone is Roman Catholic. He told me he had never before heard the things that we were telling him from the Bible. Even so, he took the Bible we gave him and began reading. I don’t know how far he got but I do remember that he said 1st and 2nd Timothy were “perfect”. I’m not exactly sure what he meant, but it was definitely encouraging he hear him say that. I also remember that he liked the hymn “How Great Thou Art”, a hymn he learned when my husband and I did Sunday services at the nursing home.
My father had an autoimmune disease that left him with bloody blisters on his body. When we prayed for healing the Lord mercifully healed him. The nurse’s aid who took care of him was a Christian woman, and she said his skin had become smooth like baby skin! He also had a stroke that confined him to a wheelchair, and Parkinson, and later dementia. He would vacillate on what he believed and that was discouraging. My father never said the words I wanted so badly to hear… “Don’t worry about me, I’m saved, and I will go and be with the Lord when I die. I’ll see you again on the other side.” He never said that. Oh, how I wanted him to say that, but he didn’t. The Lord gave me such an intense love for my Dad in his latter years. It was truly a work of the Holy Spirit in my heart. I remember holding his warm hand and being glad he was still alive but also sadly knowing that soon he would be gone. My father heard God’s Word until his last unconscious dying hours. On a Sunday night in March 2010, a few short hours before my 93 year old father entered eternity, my husband was quoting Scripture to him. And that’s how it ended.
As I sat with my father and observed how feeble he had become my mind went back to earlier days when we were younger. Those days were not trouble free, but there was time left to live out life. More importantly, there was time left to seek the Lord. As I sat there and pondered these things, the words “days of wine and roses” came to my mind. I looked up the meaning and I found they described a period of happiness and prosperity. Thinking on these things, I wrote this poem shorty before my father died. I recited this poem at my father’s funeral.
DAYS OF WINE AND ROSES
The days of wine and roses,
They have been called by the world,
But we as Christians know that,
Just like flowers they unfold.
The days are just a vapor,
Oh, if we had only known,
So fanciful and passing,
In vanity they were sown.
The days of wine and roses,
Cannot have them back again,
And even if we could have,
Would we choose as we did then?
Lord please cleanse these our vessels,
With new wine and with your blood,
Please change our hearts forever,
By your Spirit’s cleansing flood.
The days of wine and roses,
Seemed to us a sweet sweet song,
But like the flowers fading,
The wind blows and they are gone.
The only wine of value,
Is the shedding of Christ’s blood,
The only rose enduring,
Rose of Sharon, our beloved.
Cathy White 2010 ©
Thanksgiving Day 2021… remember to let loved ones know how much you appreciate and love them.
I found this little poem several years ago on “raindrop”.
Too often we don’t realize what we have until it is gone;
Too often we wait too late to say “I’m sorry – I was wrong.”
Sometimes it seems we hurt the ones we hold dearest to our hearts;
And we allow foolish things to tear our lives apart.
Far too many times we let unimportant things into our minds;
And then it’s usually too late to see what made us blind.
So be sure that you let people know how much they mean to you;
Take that time to say the words before your time is through.
Be sure that you appreciate everything you’ve got;
And be thankful for the Little things in life that mean a lot.
* * *
1 Thessalonians 5:18 In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.
In the summer of 1992, at the age of 74, my mother was diagnosed with uterine cancer. After having a hysterectomy she had radiation treatments for 25 consecutive days. The doctors told her that intestinal distress would be a side effect of the radiation, and that it could last as long as two weeks after treatment was completed.
In November the treatments were finished and my mother was experiencing the side effects she was told to expect. But instead of getting better she seemed to be getting worse. I didn’t know what to think. My uncle who was always very upbeat took one look at her and started to cry. On Thanksgiving weekend she began to hallucinate. We later learned the hallucinating was the result of dehydration. My father and brother rushed her to the hospital emergency room. The diagnosis was a ruptured colon. She was a dying woman as she went into emergency surgery late that night. The doctor told us that it was one of the worst cases he had ever seen. He didn’t give us a lot of hope, he was telling us to prepare ourselves.
When we realized the gravity of the situation I went, with my husband and daughter, into an empty room at the hospital and began to pray. I prayed within:
“Jesus, if my mother were to die tonight and if she were to go to heaven that would be alright with me because she’s very sick and she’s suffering. If she would go to be with you I know she would be much happier there than here in this world.” Then I prayed: “But Jesus, you know and I know that according to your Word, if she died tonight she would not be going to heaven because she’s not ready to die, she’s not born again. Please spare her life and give her more time to repent.”
We had been praying no longer than about 15 or 20 minutes when the phrase “a man under authority” from Matthew chapter 8 verse 9 came to me.
At that moment I knew that my mother was going to survive and that Jesus Christ would bring healing to her body and extend her life. I didn’t say anything to anyone, I was afraid to stop praying, but within a few moments my husband said “your mother is going to be OK” so we stopped praying and went back to be with the rest of the family.
When I woke up the next morning I began to doubt. Did I really hear from the Lord. Was my mother really going to live. I read the words of Jesus in John 4:48 . . . “Except ye see signs and wonders, ye will not believe”. Then I knew it was all about faith. I was doubting because I had not seen anything yet with my physical eyes. My mother had not hopped out of bed and said “I’m fine now, let’s go home”.
It was Sunday morning and we went back to the hospital. My mother was in intensive care recovering from the surgery. Her whole body was swollen and she had tubes everywhere. When I looked at her she reminded me of one of those helium filled balloons at the Thanksgiving Day parade. She really looked pretty awful. But she did recover. The Lord did spare her life. He did answer my prayer.
Revelation 1:18 I am he that liveth, and was dead; and, behold, I am alive for evermore, Amen; and have the keys of hell and of death.
See also …
Man Under Authority – II – My mother’s road to the Lord
Man Under Authority – III – What I spoke at my mother’s funeral