I remember a television drama in which a young man explained to his family why he liked a certain woman whom they did not like. He said, “Very few people really understand me, but she truly ‘gets’ me.” Many of us feel as though few people “get”—understand and value—us. It’s a wonderful feeling to be known and have someone who knows us think we’re terrific. The psalmist says something similar about God: There isn’t one thing about me that God doesn’t “get.” There isn’t one piece of our logic that God does not understand.
God knows what to expect from us. Think of how you grin when you know someone so well that when you overhear them in a conversation you already know what they’re going to say next. God is like that with us. “Even before a word is on my tongue, O Lord, you know it completely.” That last phrase, “you know it completely,” may refer to how God not only knows what we’re about to say but also knows the motives and perhaps the pain behind it. No one on earth knows us like that. Because no human knows us like that, we don’t really comprehend God’s understanding of us. We haven’t experienced it here on earth. So we’re amazed and almost puzzled. “Such knowledge is too wonderful for me; it is so high that I cannot attain it.” It makes perfect sense that we don’t grasp this concept. Who am I to think I can understand God? God works behind the scenes, within the layers of our reality, days in advance of us and yet resounding in words said to us yesterday.
Suggestion for Meditation: Picture the phrase “lay your hand upon me.” Is it a hand of comfort or a hand of caution or simply a hand of caring?
As God promised land and descendants to Abraham, in the reading from Genesis God confirms these same promises to Abraham’s grandson Jacob. The psalmist meditates on and takes comfort in the fact that God knows everything and is everywhere. He asks God to search his heart and reveal if there are sins away from which he needs to turn. The Romans passage continues Paul’s reflection on the life in the Spirit. Because we are children of God, we cry out with confidence that God will hear and answer. Jesus tells a parable in Matthew concerning the final judgment. He says that the wicked will be taken first, then the righteous will be gathered together.
Read Genesis 28:10-19a. When has God quietly been at work in your life? How do these experiences help you recognize God’s presence with you in ordinary days?
Read Psalm 139:1-12, 23-24. God already knows us completely. What is holding you back from inviting God to search your heart?
Read Romans 8:12-25. Consider the ways you already resemble God. In what ways to you need or wish to be transformed to resemble God more fully?
Read Matthew 13:24-30, 36-43. Reflect on a time when you were frustrated by God’s inaction in the face of injustice. In hindsight, how was God at work?
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