The Nearness of God

Meditating on Psalm 139.

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.
Such knowledge is too wonderful for me;
It is high, I cannot attain it. (vv. 1-6)

One of my much-loved psalms is Psalm 139. If one would just put one’s heart deep into it, mulling over every word and plowing through every beautiful line, one would come to know the God who is relentless in the pursuit of those He loves. Psalm 139 is a testimony of the psalmist’s deep faith in the God he served. And for those of us whose faith is ebbing for whatever reason, soaking up the words of this psalm will be a good start in reviving it.

This one thing I realized, that one cannot really experience a deep relationship with God without having known and experienced the depth of his trials. It is in the deep need and “overnight” (that is, through the darkest nights) wrestlings for His blessings that we experience how near God really is. For it is in those times that one relinquishes every grip on control, every ounce of reliance in one’s strength, every single iota of doubt, and surrenders everything to God and simply believes and trusts.

Indeed, the darkness shall not hide from You,
But the night shines as the day;
The darkness and the light are both alike to You.

Indeed, it is in the groping in the dark that our faith is released and rises up, grappling on that which cannot be seen and believes that God’s light can pierce through any wall, any thick darkness. It is when one begins to really see that yes, “the darkness and the light are  both alike to [Him]”. That He never changes, nothing ever surprises Him, His power is forever unequalled, and He ever lives. And yet, He is there even in the small things. He is there in the good as well as in the bad. There is no place where we can run away from His love. He covers the highest heavens and the deepest oceans.

The apostle Paul had known it centuries ago:

For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, 39 nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord. (Rom. 8:38-39)

Friend, are you struggling in the dark, drowning in your own grief, tears, and fears, trying to see God in all of it? I know how to hunger for God in the dark where I couldn’t see anything, in the suffering where there seemed to be no end. I know how the knowledge that He. Is. There. can bring a mountain of comfort and strength. So know now, that yes, He is there. He knows your thoughts and fears, what you’re going through. He’s intimately acquainted with you – your ways, your desires, your pains. Just receive that truth and hold it in your bosom. Be comforted by the words of this psalm. They are true.

How precious also are Your thoughts to me, O God!
How great is the sum of them!
If I should count them, they would be more in number than the sand;
When I awake, I am still with You.

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Journey with Jesus,

Comments

  1. jedidja says:

    Thank you for this nice blog. I like. Reading this psalm. And wonder about His amazing grace. In spite of trials and dark things, he wants to be with us. What a beautiful, comforting blog. Thank you.

    Love the music on you blog. My daughter Moniek ( 13) is singing with the melody.

  2. Naomi says:

    How comforting to be reminded that he knows and cares what I’m going through. The journey is long and hard but I shall come forth as gold. He has enclosed me before and behind and laid His hand upon me.

  3. Janet Reeves says:

    “for those of us whose faith is ebbing for whatever reason, soaking up the words of this psalm will be a good start in reviving it.” This is so true! Thank you for sharing your thoughts. Psalm 139 is one of my favorites, too!

  4. The concept of Immanuel – “God with us” – breaks me on a regular basis. But in the dark times, like you mention, it has special potency. Thank you for the hope that breathes through this post, Rina. And thanks for linking with Unforced Rhythms.

    • RinaPeru says:

      Kelli, you couldn’t have put it more perfectly. Yes, it is in the impossibly difficult seasons that we know and feel God’s nearness.

  5. Sarah says:

    I love Psalms, and especially this one and how it washes over you!

    • RinaPeru says:

      Sarah, we only need to stop and let the beauty and power of the Word wash over us – it’s always there for the taking.

  6. Michelle Anderson says:

    So encouraging and true. I’m your neighbor at #TellHisStory.

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