Have you ever been lost in painful contemplation? Have you ever felt restlessness creep into your soul? Even if you had someone to talk to who could empathize with you, you just could not communicate the goings on deep in your soul that had you so introspective. Ever been there? I was there last night. My soul was restless, my mind relentlessly pressing into that dull awareness that something was not right in a desperate search for clarity and understanding. My wife was there, witnessing this process. I love her very much, and she understands me better than anyone on earth. But I could not adequately communicate the issue for her understanding. Why? Because I couldn’t even manage to completely understand myself at the moment.
James Tealy spoke at the Fuge Camp I attended this summer. James is a worship leader who is also an amazingly effective communicator of God’s Word. Many things James said over that week at camp stuck with me, but one sentence particularly stands out in my mind. James would frequently say this, “Children of the Most High God, you are KNOWN!” What a staggering concept. This morning, Psalm 94 reminded me of the same astonishing truth.
He who planted the ear, does he not hear?
He who formed the eye, does he not see?
He who disciplines the nations, does he not rebuke?
He who teaches man knowledge –
the Lord – knows the thoughts of man,
that they are but a breath. – Psalm 94:9-11
Psalm 139 also illustrates this idea beautifully. David’s song says, “O LORD, you have searched me and known me! You know when I sit down and when I rise up; you discern my thoughts from afar. You search out my path and my lying down and are acquainted with all my ways. Even before a word is on my tongue, behold, O LORD, you know it altogether. You hem me in, behind and before, and lay your hand upon me. Such knowledge is too wonderful for me; it is high; I cannot attain it. Where shall I go from your Spirit? Or where shall I flee from your presence? (Psalm 139:1-7).”
God’s love is suffocatingly beautiful.
We cannot escape it. We cannot escape his prearrangement of our steps and foreknowledge of our thoughts, as verses 3-4 above illustrate. This, to be quite honest, is a terrifying concept. See, I know the junk that goes on in my mind and soul. I would be horrified to sit with Jesus as he dove into the depths of my depravity. But he knows. He knew before I did. And still, he chose to save, to justify my sin on a bloody cross, and deliver me from myself. God’s love is inescapable, at times terrifying, and ultimately, the most beautiful thing in history.
More than knowing my depravity and forgiving it, which was the turning point and most significant time in all of history, he goes on to LOVE me despite me. The Bible says that we love because God loved us first (1 John 4:19). God chose me before time, to know me, to love me, and to save me. In those moments where I don’t understand myself and can’t imagine that anyone could, God does. He knows my thoughts. He knows my fears. He knows my pain. I can come to him and simply say, “Father” and he knows. His love endures. And I am KNOWN by the MOST HIGH GOD! What a suffocatingly beautiful and unfathomable idea.
Thank you, Jesus.
Grace and peace.