You have searched me, LORD, 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, LORD, know it completely. Psalm 139:1-4 (NIV)
The Bible reminds us over and over again of the comfort and peace that comes from being known and loved by God. We are truly known and perfectly loved, even more clearly and truly than we know and love ourselves! In fact, it is often quite difficult for us to know ourselves well, to discern clearly our longings, needs, and deepest desires.
Simply put, what we think we need and actually need is not always one in the same. This is especially true in times of pain or suffering. We want to flag Jesus down and say, “Come over here! I’m hurting and need you to fix this right now!” And Jesus does want to heal us and comfort us, yet he desires to heal our deepest longings and truest needs, and does so even if we don’t know what that need is.
In the medical field, doctors often talk about treating the underlying issue rather than simply focusing on the presenting symptom. I wonder if this is true of our spiritual lives as well? Could it be that Jesus, the Great Physician, wants to free us from our sorrow and pain, yet does so by working his healing into the core of our very being? And in light of this, what does it mean for us to be calm in the midst of chaos, peaceful in the most unlikely of places?
Since God knows us better than we even know ourselves, we are free to take a deep breath, open our hands, and with humble hearts say to God, “Even in the midst of chaos and great pain, I trust that you know my deepest need. So I won’t try and run past you or tell you what’s best. I choose to instead acknowledge my limitations and weakness, trusting that you are always working for my good.”
In the mystery and beauty of God’s wisdom, instead of simply erasing pain and brokenness, he heals it by taking it upon himself and transforming it in the process. We see this perfectly and powerfully on the cross as Jesus takes death upon himself so that through it he can speak life and victory.
Take heart today and trust that the thing in your life that feels like it might be your undoing can instead be something you offer to God for healing and restoration. Though it may seem improbable or even impossible, nothing is too great for a God who knows you better than you know yourself!
Prayer: Father, thank you that you know us and love us perfectly. Teach us to trust you in every situation and circumstance, believing that you work it for our good and your glory. Amen.
Application: What trial are you facing that you need to hand over to God with an open hand, trusting in his goodness and care for you?