We all have days when we feel as though we’re not enough. This affects us in so many areas of our lives, including our teaching. It’s all too easy when walking down the hallway to look with envy at our fellow teacher’s door decorations and bulletin board and feel our own efforts were not enough. Or to see a colleague praised for their creativity and effectiveness in a lesson and feel our own are not up to par. Even on TpT, it’s hard not to think you could and should be doing more. And then there’s that student. The one for whom you’ve tried everything but still, there’s no breakthrough. Whether it be his academics or his behavior, you feel you aren’t a good enough teacher to meet his needs. It’s even possible that you’ll begin to project those feelings onto him and start to believe that he’s not good enough either.

David, the man after God’s own heart, is a fascinating character study. The youngest and least likely, chosen to be king. The boy with a slingshot who killed a giant. God’s chosen one, who violated a married woman and killed her husband. Yet, David is known as a man of great faith. One reason for his faith can be read in Psalm 139.

For you formed my inward parts; you knitted me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works; my soul knows it very well. My frame was not hidden from you, when I was being made in secret, intricately woven in the depths of the earth. Your eyes saw my unformed substance; in your book were written, every one of them, the days that were formed for me, when as yet there was none of them. 

I’ve always read these words and though, “Yay, babies! Yay, humans! I’m special! We’re all special!” And while true, that’s not all there is to these verses. It’s important (always) to read around those verses. As I went backward and read for context, I found verses 8-12 to be particularly enlightening.

If I ascend to heaven, you are there! If I make my bed in Sheol, you are there! If I take the wings of the morning, and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea, even there your right hand shall hold me. If I say, “Surely darkness shall cover me, and the light about me be night,” even the darkness is not dark to you; the night is bright as the day, for darkness is as light to you. 

What clued me in to a greater meeting were those conjunctions: if and for. David is not reflecting on himself in these verses. He is reflecting on the fact that God will never leave nor forsake him, “even if…” How does he know this? Because of the way God formed hi. The sequence of these verses goes something like this;

You will not leave me, even if sin, even if darkness, because you made me.

The fact that we were “fearfully and wonderfully made” is not mere testament to ourselves; it is a resounding, worshipful cry of the glory of God, hearkening back to Genesis 1:31 when he declared his creation “very good.”

How does this encourage us as we feel not enough? If God made us for his glory, how can we be anything but? Our mistakes, our struggles, our successes – God knew every one of them before time began and yet created us, lovingly, carefully, intricately, with full knowledge that through those mistakes, struggles, successes, his glory would be proclaimed and his purpose completed. Who he has made us is exactly who we are to be in his story. There is no greater role we can play than the one he made for us. Still more, because he made us for his glory and his purpose, we can rest in his love and his presence. Even when we feel not enough, he is there.

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