King David tells us in Psalm 139 that the Lord not only cares about us, but He is also intimately familiar with all of our thoughts and ways. And knowing this, He still loves us.
Psalm 139, a psalm of David:
1 O Lord, You have searched me and known me. 2 You know my sitting down and my rising up; You understand my thought afar off. 3 You comprehend my path and my lying down, and are acquainted with all my ways. 4 For there is not a word on my tongue, but behold, O Lord, You know it altogether. 5 You have hedged me behind and before, and laid Your hand upon me. 6 Such knowledge is too wonderful for me; It is high, I cannot attain it. Psalm 139:1-6 (NKJV)
Unlike God, who wonderfully focuses on others, our inclination is often to focus on ourselves. As one person jokingly put it, “I may not be much, but I am all I think about”.
This is certainly an exaggeration, but we see that God obsessively thinks about us, too. Like parents of a newborn child or the owner of a young pet, He rejoices when we take a healthy step forward and feels the hurt when we become injured, harmed, or sick. He will correct us from time to time, but that is only to help lead us towards a better future. And when trouble, grief, or hard times come our way, He stays with us, and will deliver us through the dark valleys that living in a fallen world will sometimes bring.
It is amazing that we have an infinite God who invests the time, energy, and trouble to be concerned about each of one of us, moment by moment, even when we are sleeping. (Imagine watching someone sleep for several hours, non-stop!)
More than that, God has surrounded us with a hedge of protection, both in front of us and behind us. He restores our lives as we choose to turn away from any destructive choices we have made in our past, and gently leads us towards greener pastures. He keeps us safe from the harms intended for us by evil. When we do slip and fall, He picks us up, dusts us off, and puts us back on the road of joyful living. By doing this, He is shaping all believers to form a holy relationship with Him in His eternal kingdom.
David’s Psalm 139 also describes the vastness of God’s presence throughout the earth and the physical and spiritual universe. Like Jonah in the Old Testament, we can try to run and hide from God, but that is not even remotely possible.
7 Where can I go from Your Spirit? Or where can I flee from Your presence? 8 If I ascend into heaven, You are there; If I make my bed in hell, behold, You are there. 9 If I take the wings of the morning, and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea,10 Even there Your hand shall lead me, and Your right hand shall hold me. Psalm 139:7-10 (NKJV)
From the bottom of the ocean to the surface of Mars, from the heights of the spiritual heavens to the depths of Hades, there is no place where we could hide from the presence of the Lord, or to be out of the reach of His love. Wherever we are on the planet today, God is just as present on the opposite side of the earth as He is with us, right here, right now.
It can be a frightening thought that God is so intimate with us. We have all said, done, and thought things that we are ashamed of, and wish we could do over again.
While it is not possible to change the past, God will cleanse us of our sin, and help to change us moving forward. He will heal us and His hedge of protection will guard us, even when experiencing consequences of our past. The cross of Christ brings renewal, freedom, and a forgiveness that flows like a river. There may be damage caused by some of our past wrongs, but God will work with us to get through them and to build upon a restored foundation. He will actually use our old weaknesses and failures to help others who are fighting similar battles today.
Broken relationships can be healed through His divine touch. Some damaged relationships can become better than ever, others, at least become more civil and respectful. But even if those we have hurt want nothing more to do with us, they will be able to witness how God’s love is changing us, making us more and more into the women and men that He created us to be, to His glory.
Many of us have already lived in some form of a “hell” of our own making, but our loving Creator was there with us, and will make a new and much better life for us. He helps us, one day at a time, as we seek the presence of the Lord Jesus Christ and to walk in His footsteps. He will continue to help each one of us make progress as we follow Him. When we do have setbacks, we remember that only He can achieve total perfection. He will bring us through our failures and use us to bless others and to build His kingdom.
Can you see progress in your walk with God? As a friend once said, “I may not be what I want to be, but I am not who I used to be”.
What is one area or relationship in your life that you need God’s help to improve?
Father God, help each one of us today to take a healthy step progressing towards Your spiritual, physical, mental, and financial renewal. When we fail or fall, help us to get up again and to keep moving forward in Your forgiveness and love. Restore and heal any broken relationships in our lives and help us to forgive any offenses made against us. Keep Your hedge of protection firmly in place around us and around our loved ones today. We ask this in Jesus’ name, Amen.
Thought for the day: Nothing is wasted in God’s economy.