You Hem Me In

(Written by: Emily Matthews)

You hem me in behind and before,
and you lay your hand on me.
Psalm 139:5

We are known by God.


We can’t hide our mess from him. We can spend a lot of time and energy hiding our true selves from the world. But not from God.

Pretend all you want, but He knows you and me.

What I love about this verse in Psalm 139 in particular, is “you hem me in.” I think about clothing. Even the best dress would be a mess without a hem. It would be “unfinished.” No one would want it.

stock-footage-woman-hands-sewing-mending-torn-t-shirt-needle-and-thread-close-up-side-shotGod does the same for me. He hems me in.

He contains my messes. Behind and before. He makes me ready for use. He makes the finished product.

(Can I get an amen?)

In Hebrew, hem me in means to besiege me. Surround me like a city under attack. Restrict me. Give me boundaries. Keep me under close examination.

I need God to hem me in. I think of it like protection. Maybe a loving embrace. Maybe a firm boundary or limit. Either way, because God does the hemming, and not me, I get the freedom to be myself. The self that He made me to be.

He lays his hand on me. To redirect and guide. Holds me back from unsafe situations. There is comfort in knowing that his hand is on me. I can never escape Him. I can run, but I can’t hide. God has his hand on me. For that I am thankful.


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