"Search me, God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting." (Psalm 139:23-24, NIV)
Last year I went—somewhat reluctantly—to a ladies weekend with our church. It was my first such outing, even though we’d been part of this faith community since landing in Dublin five years ago. But peer pressure from spiritual mothers is a real thing, so I packed up my hot water bottle and went.
Of course, a weekend in a stately manor house in the Irish countryside is a dream come true, no matter who you are. And as we sang in worship and chatted animatedly by the fire, my defenses (and my skepticism) began to thaw. In 48 hours, I learned more about that great group of women than I had in the previous four years, and slowly but surely, I opened up to them, too.
The theme for that weekend keeps coming ‘round, especially when I’m not looking, maybe even especially for this month’s theme: openness. Psalm 139 is a plea for transparency, a lifting of the veil, an investigation into the human heart and soul.
"You have searched me…"
"You discern my going out and my lying down…"
"You hem me in behind and before…"
The Message paraphrase begins and ends the Psalm this way: "I'm an open book to You; even from a distance, You know what I'm thinking…Investigate my life, O God, find out everything about me; Cross-examine and test me, get a clear picture of what I'm about." (Psalm 139:2, 23)
I am an open book to the Lord, whether I like it or not. There is nothing within me that He is not aware of. I cannot hide, cannot run, cannot escape His intimate knowledge of me, His love for me, His canopy over me.
That should make me anxious, wary, even panicky—but it doesn’t. It makes me want to open up to Him all the more, to lay the burdens and the fears and the shortcomings before Him, and to be aware and obedient to where He’s leading me.
And when that feels too hard to do, I choose to sing it, instead:
I will open my hands, will open my heart I will open my hands, will open my heart I am nodding my head an emphatic yes to all that You have for me
-Sara Groves, Open My Hands
And I remember: He withholds no good thing from us. Singing with you, Karen Huber
For Reflection: "For whatever is hidden is meant to be disclosed, and whatever is concealed is meant to be brought out into the open. If anyone has ears to hear, let them hear.” (Mark 4:22-23, NIV)
In what ways do you find it easy to be open with God? In prayer? Song? Study? Silence? When do you find it hard?
If you are an open book to God, what do you think the first line is? Are you in between chapters? What kind of story are you writing together?
Is there something you might be hiding, deep down, and afraid to share with the Lord? Tell Him about it.