God knows every bad and messy thing about you and still loves you more than you can imagine. How do we respond to that?
When I was 12 years old, someone at my church paid for me to go to church camp, where I accepted Jesus, and the course of my life was radically changed. That week we went over Psalm 139 and talked about how God knows everything about us and loves us radically anyway. A few weeks ago, I was reading and reflecting on this passage and what it means to me now.
1: O Lord, you have examined my heart
and know everything about me.
EVERYTHING. The things you said you’d never tell another soul about. The thing you’re so ashamed of—your secret fears and insecurities. The way you think about yourself when you look in the mirror.
2: You know when I sit down or stand up.
You know my thoughts even when I’m far away.
3: You see me when I travel
and when I rest at home.
You know everything I do.
4: You know what I am going to say
even before I say it, Lord.
He knows you better than you know yourself. There’s no running, no hiding. He knows every hair on your head, every pore on your skin, and everything you will say before you even say it.
5: You go before me and follow me.
You place your hand of blessing on my head.
He doesn’t hold it against you.
This seems incomprehensible, almost unfathomable.
That this God who is omniscient would care about YOU.
He knows the depths of your soul.
He knows every bad thing YOU WILL EVER DO and still goes before you, making a way.
He follows you, protecting you.
He places his hand of blessing on you.
There are two ways we can respond to this- shame, because we feel like we have disappointed God- or we can respond how king David does in verse 6:
6: Such knowledge is too wonderful for me,
too great for me to understand!
Some of us try to hide- we feel like we’ve messed up and disappointed God.
Being disappointed means you thought something was going to happen, and you got your hopes up, and then something else happened.
God isn’t like that. That can’t happen to God because He already knew what you would do from the beginning of time. He didn’t get his hopes up thinking you would do something, and then you let him down. He already knew.
He isn’t surprised by our sins and isn’t disappointed in us. He loves us despite our sin.
He doesn’t say - begrudgingly, I’ll help you.
You are not a disappointment. You are loved and wanted
He doesn’t turn away from our brokenness- he leans into it
He already knew because He is everywhere.
And he’s saying- come home.
God doesn’t punish us for our brokenness. His home is one of peace and grace and love. He is welcoming you with open arms.
He’s saying- you know you can’t do it yourself. That’s why I’m here.
13: You made all the delicate, inner parts of my body
and knit me together in my mother’s womb.
14: Thank you for making me so wonderfully complex!
Your workmanship is marvelous—how well I know it.
The same God who made flowers, mountains, and stars made YOU, on purpose, complexly, marvelous.
15: You saw me before I was born.
Every day of my life was recorded in your book.
Every moment was laid out
before a single day had passed.
My parents never brought me to the dentist as a child, so by the time I was an adult with dental insurance, my teeth were a mess. I’d put off going for years- I’d seen the decay and pain I lived with every day and knew it was my fault it had gotten so bad.
I was expecting to get to the dentist and for them to say- how in the world did it get so bad?
How in the world did you get yourself into this mess? Do you not know what causes this?
I expected them to heap more shame on top of the immense amount I already had put on myself.
I expected them to be appalled and disgusted by my state.
When I walked in, almost in tears, the hygienist looked me straight in the face and said, “I’m so glad you’re here and that we’re going to be able to help you.”
There was no condemnation. Only kindness, only grace
I couldn’t have fixed this myself. The longer I tried to fight it, the worse it got.
This is what God does for us. He sees the decay and the mess in our lives- and he doesn’t scold us.
He sees the pain, and He leans in with open arms.
He already knows how bad it is. Let him help you.