TO CHEW ON: "You understand my thought afar off….
For there is not a word on my tongue,
But behold, O Lord, You know it altogether." - Psalm 139:2,4
Have you ever had thoughts or spoken words that surprised you by what they showed you of the state of your own heart? Even though some things are against your most dearly held convictions, you've thought or said words like "separate," "divorce," or "leave the church."
After the heat of such a moment you and I may feel surprised, disturbed, and disappointed that we actually thought or said such things. And what about God? Surely He was surprised too.
That last possibility is impossible. Our reading today assures us that we can never surprise or shock God with our thoughts and words. In fact, I would suggest that the words we were shocked to hear ourselves say may have a divine purpose.
It's easy to cram into our heart's closet and close the door on negative thoughts about people, our marriage, the church. We may ignore our deteriorating relationship, handling it with avoidance ("I don't want to go there") or self-deception ("It's really not that bad"). But when we've heard ourselves think or say the words we vowed we'd never think or say, we are forced to face the problem in a new way.
Our thoughts and words can be part of how God answers the psalm's request that God "search," "know," and "try" our hearts. They may uncover "anxieties" that color our entire outlook. They may be God's painful revelation of some "wicked way" in us. They surely show us that there is a problem that needs our attention. As we acknowledge these issues and deal with them, God can continue to lead us in the "way everlasting."
PRAYER: "Search me, O God, and know my heart;
Try me and know my anxieties;
And see if there is any wicked way in me,
And lead me in the way everlasting." Amen. Psalm 139:23,24.
The Holy Bible, New King James Version Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. - Used with permission.