Not long ago a friend wore a pair of pants that had not been hemmed. She noted the fabric at the bottom coming undone and the unwanted frill. Getting the pants hemmed topped her to-do list. Have you ever had the hem of a shirt, jacket, pants, towel, or blanket come undone? If ignored, often problems arise.
Hem – The edge of a piece of cloth, such as the bottom edge of a pants, shirt, or dress that is folded over and sewn so that it does not develop loose threads. To surround and restrict the space or movement of someone or something.
Look at the hem of your top or pants. Notice it’s purpose. The hem holds the clothing together so it doesn’t unravel. Separation within the fabric is restricted by the hem. The hem holds the material in place. God does this for us as well. He holds us together.
The Bible declares God’s intimate knowledge and care for each of us.
You have searched me, Lord, and you know me. You know when I sit and when I rise; you perceive my thoughts from afar. You discern my going out and my lying down; you are familiar with all my ways….You hem me in behind and before, and you lay your hand upon me.…How precious to me are your thoughts, God! How vast is the sum of them. Were I to count them, they would outnumber the grains of sand— when I awake, I am still with you. (Verses from Psalm 139)
God hems us in on all sides, extending His presence. Imagine God hemming you in: behind, before, above, below. God’s all encompassing hemming offers both safety and security. He has got you. What a mighty gift of grace from our triune God!
Consider the threads of your top – the individual threads hold your shirt together. God, on a grand scale, holds all things together.
For in him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things have been created through him and for him. He is before all things, and in him all things hold together. (Colossians 1:16-17)
Scripture proclaims the supremacy of Jesus Christ and His presence with us. God not only hems each of us in with himself, He hems in the whole universe. He is before all things and in Him all things hold together. God surrounds us and fulfills His purposes.
How does it feel to know that God holds all things together?
Does your life reflect the belief that God holds all things together? Even when we feel at the end of our rope, God keeps us from falling apart by holding together the threads of our lives.
The reality of being hemmed in by God reminds me of the Breastplate Prayer, which also makes me think of the armor of God found in Ephesians 6:10-18. The Breastplate Prayer is a prayer often attributed to St. Patrick.
St. Patrick was born around 380AD in Britain and was raised in a christian home. At the age of sixteen, he was kidnapped by Irish pirates and taken as a slave to Ireland. While caring for sheep in Ireland, Patrick prayed for God to rescue Him. Six years later he escaped. After returning to Britain, Patrick sought the Lord and felt called by God to be a missionary to Ireland. Around 432AD he returned to Ireland proclaiming the gospel of peace. He shared Jesus Christ with the Irish people.
According to tradition, St. Patrick wrote the Breastplate Prayer in 433 A.D. for divine protection before successfully converting the Irish King Leoghaire and his people from paganism to Christianity. More recent scholarship suggests that the Breastplate Prayer was authored anonymously. In any case, this prayer reflects the heart of Scriptures such Ephesians 6:10-18, Colossians 1:16-17, and Psalm 139.
Invite Jesus to hold you together as your ponder this portion of the Breastplate Prayer. Use your holy imagination to enter into the prayer. Be confident in the truths in each word. Picture Christ with you in every way. Savor this space – – – Be with Jesus
As I arise today, may the strength of God pilot me, the power of God uphold me, the wisdom of God guide me.
May the eye of God look before me, the ear of God hear me, the word of God speak for me.
May the hand of God protect me, the way of God lie before me, the shield of God defend me, the host of God save me.
May Christ shield me today.
Christ with me, Christ before me, Christ behind me, Christ in me, Christ beneath me, Christ above me,
Christ on my right, Christ on my left, Christ when I lie down, Christ when I sit, Christ when I stand,
Christ in the heart of everyone who thinks of me, Christ in the mouth of everyone who speaks of me,
Christ in every eye that sees me, Christ in every ear that hears me.
I arise today, through the strength of God to pilot me, Amen.
How does the Breastplate Prayer stimulate your mind and heart for Jesus Christ? In what ways do you notice God hemming you in through this prayer?
Let the truths of Scripture and prayers like the Breastplate Prayer impact the way you will live. Be confident in the provision and protection of God. He hems you in. You can rest in Him. He holds all things together. You can trust Him.
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Drips from the Word: Muse about these Bible verses. Let these truths impact your living.
Ephesians 6:10, 13-18 – Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power…Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord’s people.
Psalm 121:5-8 – The Lord watches over you—the Lord is your shade at your right hand; the sun will not harm you by day, nor the moon by night. The Lord will keep you from all harm—he will watch over your life; the Lord will watch over your coming and going both now and forevermore.
Splashes from the Spigot: Drink from deep wells. Read these recommended books to fill your soul.
Skye Jethani. With: Reimagining the Way You Relate to God. Nashville, TN. 2011.
Craig J. Sefa. I Arise Today: A 40 Day Journey Through St. Patrick’s Breastplate Prayer. 2019.
Sprinklings of Truth: Soak in meaningful songs. Check out these music videos to lift up your spirit.
Maverick City Music. You Hold It All Together. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hSMJa5tImRU
Maxi Priest. God Watches Over Us. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_F_w90yL9fA
Puddles for Prayer: Thank you for praying for upcoming travel and speaking engagements.
March 10 – Littleton, CO
Breathe Retreat (A two hour spiritual retreat for women) – Join us. Email me for more information.