(Written by Abby Hamilton)
Why can’t I just snap out of this and move on?
Why am I in such a funk?
What is going on inside me?
Where did that thought/emotion come from?
Do any of these questions sound familiar? So often I just don’t understand myself.
Recently, when asked to read and teach Psalm 139, I was struck by how fully God knows me.
“Lord, You have searched me 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. Before a word is on my tongue You know it completely.” Psalm 139:1-4
While I don’t always understand myself, God completely understands me.
What a relief.
He knows my every movement and my every effort. Even before I say something, He knows what I’m going to say! There is nothing about me that God doesn’t already know and understand.
Not only am I fully known by God, I am deeply loved by Him, as well.
Imagine, having Someone know EVERYTHING about us and still – fully, unconditionally – embrace us! What an amazing truth to hang onto when feeling unloved, overlooked, undervalued or unseen.
“God is love…There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment.” I John 4:16, 18
How can His perfect love drive out the fear of punishment? His love is perfect and so is He. Shouldn’t I be at least a little anxious about getting in trouble with this perfect God?
He’s seen when I’ve been less than honest (deception), acted as my own boss instead of following Him (pride), been overly independent because I didn’t want to admit my need (pride again), just about killed myself trying to be many friends’ savior when they needed the Real Savior (trying to be god. Ouch)… and so on.
It’s not that God says, “No problem, Abby. Those things don’t really matter. I’m going to act like those thoughts and behaviours never happened!”
Rather, it’s like God says, “Yes, I see all those things that create distance between us. Yet, your punishment has already been fully executed on the cross.”
All those big and little things I’m ashamed I’ve said, done or thought are literally in Christ’s body on the cross. Christ’s death on the cross is the crucial piece why I don’t need to fear God’s punishment.
But so what? So what that God knows me fully and deeply loves me?
Years ago, when listening to someone teach about the impact of the crucifixion of Christ, I learned there’s no need to pretend to be something I’m not. I certainly can’t fool God. He’s seen it all and still loves me.
One of my vulnerable spots is to internally crumble when someone disapproves of or disagrees with me. Since my true sense of well-being comes from the reality that God loves me unconditionally (as opposed to everyone affirming me!), I can be at peace when someone is upset with me or I’ve made a mistake.
My failures and mistakes don’t change God’s reality that I am fully known and deeply loved. I don’t have the pressure to be perfect! I am free to fail and make mistakes.
We are fully known and deeply loved.
That is the beautiful truth of the first section of Psalm 139. If you have a chance to read the rest of the Psalm, you’ll see that we are never alone, we are His exquisite creation and we cry out to God to rescue us and cleanse us!