God Knows It All (And Still Loves!)
O Lord, you have searched me out, and know me. You know when I sit down and when I rise up; You discern my thoughts from far away. You search out my path, and are acquainted with all my ways.
This Scripture from Psalm 139 is both scary and reassuring. It's scary to know that God knows that much about me and overlooks a lot of stuff, and loves me in spite of me. He knows my thoughts, my schedule, my routines and when I miss my morning prayer time because I am too busy doing something else. (I try to make it up later in the day, when possible; I believe that counts!) And the Scripture is reassuring because in knowing all things, God doesn’t give up on me.
The first time I was an acolyte, the priest told me, “
Nick, don't spill the wine
.” Yet, of course, I went on and caught the cruet on the edge of the altar and did exactly what he’d told me not to do: I spilled the wine! The priest was thankfully very understanding and I was reminded that God still loves me. (The altar guild members, on the other hand, were not so happy with me.) Yet, it was nice to know that I was not banished from the church or acolyte team.
When I look back over some of the silly things I have thought and done, it is nice to know that God knows, hears and sees all things and that I am still loved, forgiven and have continued opportunities to start over. God is everywhere–and so is His love. And because He is, we cannot escape Him: “
Where could I flee from your presence? If I climb the heavens, you are there, there too if I lie in Sheol.
” (Psalm 139:7-8)
Frederick Faber’s hymn reminds us of how God’s goodness stretches so far into every corner of our lives. It begins, “
There’s a wideness in God’s mercy, like the wideness of the sea,
” and later continues, “
For the love of God is broader, than the measures of the mind. And the heart of the Eternal, is most wonderfully kind.
” God is kinder to us than we are to ourselves. He will be with us and guide us through our mistakes and failings if we would just let Him in, even in difficult times or when we spill the wine. Then, as Faber’s hymn concludes, “
reflect thanksgiving for the goodness of our Lord!
O Lord God, Heavenly Father, we beseech Thee, let Thy Holy Spirit dwell in us, that He may enlighten and lead us into all truth, and evermore defend us from all adversities, through Jesus Christ our Lord.