I got the message early one morning this week, and my garbage thoughts were immediately churned up, troubled, frustrated and conflicted. My mouth wanted to spew out my feelings, but the words of Psalm 139 reigned me in. God has intimate knowledge of me; He searches me out and "knows" me. That means He is intimately acquainted with everything about me, all my ways (vv.1-3). Even from what seems like a distance, He knows me. Nothing is hidden. Even if I try not to speak my garbage thoughts, He knows even before I start to spew what really fills my heart, "Even before a word is on my tongue" (v.4).
Should we try to hide? It can't be done. David asked the same thing, "Where can I go from your Spirit?" (v.7) We can't run away or be in a place out of His full awareness. Not heaven, not hell, not as far as east is from west, not in the darkest place. Even in the suffering place. Everywhere ... He leads and holds those who are His (v.10).
This truth has been such a comfort to me.
This week we talked about suffering as described in Psalm 39, and I showed you my illustration of it from my devotional notebook. The Psalm made us ask, "What now?" If you know you're suffering, and it may even be your own doing, what now? From the same writer who had lived on the run, experienced his own agony, and hidden out, the words of Psalm 139 make it clear we can't escape God's full "knowing" of us and all we think and feel.
Why can't I escape Him?
- He is my maker. vv. 13-16 ... Even in the dark isolation of the womb, He knew me.
- All of my days are in His book. vv. 16 ... He knows every event, good and bad.
- He thunders out the pronouncement that I am wonderfully made. v. 14
- His thoughts toward me are VAST; He thinks of me ... a lot. vv. 17-18
- He has the authority to restrain evil. vv. 19-20
- Not everyone is glad God knows all about us; He has enemies. vv. 19-22
Though He knows me in my ugly state of garbage thinking and suffering, He still wants to search me and know me. He wants me to invite Him to keep searching and keep knowing:
- my heart
- my thoughts
- my wicked ways
- Are you crying out to the God, asking Him to search you, know you, and lead you?
- Are you spending time in His Word, so you'll know His ways?
Life is filled with suffering, but out of it we can cry like David: "Search me! Know my heart! See if there's garbage in me! Lead me in YOUR ways, not mine."