Search Me: An Answered Prayer From Psalm 139
Both boys were down for a nap. I had made a late lunch, grabbed my water glass with the cute straw, and plopped down at the kitchen table to start my Bible study. I loved this time of the day. It is rest from being a mom, a housekeeper, an errand-runner. Here I sit down, admire the green woods through the window, and hang out with God.
That day, as I started the sweet work of spending time with Jesus and supplying some of the words for Reachingher.com, I felt a catch in my spirit. I stopped. I pushed my Bible away. I nudged the computer back. I laid my colored pen down on the oak table.
What was this halting in my heart? There was a longing. I wanted something.
I sat and I listened to God, to my desires, and to that inner dialog that we all have running in the back of our brains. I mulled about Jesus. I had been studying Him and seeing His peace, His glory, His love for others, His fullness with the Father.
I realized that I saw what Jesus had, and I wanted it. I wanted no sin, no error on my part to separate me from the Father. I wanted the peace and joy that comes from unhindered fellowship.
The wonderful thing that I immediately realized: God wants the same things for me! This I had learned in childhood, and it came back now with real meaning. So, what was holding me back? The answer was instant, and I knew it without thinking. There are lies that I believe, there are idols that I worship, and there are things I don’t want to surrender to God.
I had stumbled across such strongholds before. There was the day I realized that I didn’t truly believe God loved me. It was a lie that I didn’t know I held onto and that lie put space between me and God. When God showed me the truth: that He loved me (just me; me alone, as if there was no one else in this world), what freedom and joy flooded me. My relationship with Jesus grew closer and sweeter.
Today was different, though: I knew there were things keeping me from God, but I couldn't quite name them. I felt frustration. I cannot fight what I cannot name. So, I turned to God and I prayed:
“Lord, I want to be closer to You. I want to be like You.
Show me what I cannot see. Help me remove what is
keeping me from You.”
This sounds like a silly prayer. In a way it feels silly to recount. But then, two weeks later, I found familiarity with David in Ps 139: 23-24. He says the same thing that I had been working through; only he says it in that poetic voice of the Old Testament:
Search me, O God, and know my heart;
Try me and know my anxious thoughts;
And see if there be any hurtful way in me,
And lead me in the everlasting way.
I found it comforting that I’m not the first person to pray this kind of a prayer -- King David did wrote his bold and humble request as a Psalm. God had brought to my attention a whole chapter in the Bible about the exact thing I was working through. Behold, the kindness of God - to speak truth into my life and guide me where I am at.
So, I went back through the Psalms and found something.
I found the answer to my prayer. That answer wasn’t what I thought it would be. I thought I would discover another dramatic stronghold that could make a cool story. What I found was a quiet chance for growth.
I found the reason that David can be so very bold to ask God for what He wants. I found the reason that David is so humble that he asks to be searched. I found a different level of TRUST.
See, I trust God, but I had noticed for a while that my trust was a muscle that was much smaller than I wanted. I had a Barbie size muscle of trust; what I saw in David’s prayer was Arnold Schwarzenegger. Because my prayer came out of small trust in God, I wasn’t so sure that God would fulfill it. What made David able to trust God and pray with confidence?
David explains it in Psalm 139.
- David trusts God because God KNOWS HIM. In verses 2-4 David recounts how God knows his habits, his thoughts, his movements, the path he walks, and his words.
- David trust God because God PROTECTS HIM. In verses 5-12 David tells how God encloses him before and behind, stays with him, and is bigger than his light or dark circumstances.
- David trust God because God CREATED HIM. In verses 13-16 David talks about how he is fearfully and wonderfully made, and how God know the days ordained for him.
- David trusts God because God is INVESTED IN HIM. In verses 17-18 David confesses that God thinks of him more than David can count. Also, he restates that God is with Him.
David knows God and his trust is so ironclad that he begins the Psalms by saying in verse 1:
“O Lord, Thou hast searched me and know me.”
David knew that God was faithful and that God would do what David asks of Him. David trusts God. He begins his prayer with a statement of knowledgeable trust.
So, where do I stand after seeing the example of King David? I realize that God honors weak trust. I see now that God lead me to the Psalms to teach me what great trust looks like so that He could answer my prayer. This act of God’s faithfulness has touched my heart and softened my spirit.
I can see so clearly how God answered my prayer and gave me exactly what I asked for. He showed me what I couldn’t see: that I could trust Him more! And by teaching me to trust Him he gave me a closer relationship with Him.
How sweet the nearness of the Lord is; I will trust in the Lord!
Hannah Michael Wolfkill Snyder has always loved all of her names (yes, each one is on her passport!). However, the name she loves the most is Jesus. Jesus taught her how to play in the throne room of Heaven and sit in the lap of God the Father. This is her identity, where her heart loves to abide (even if her hands and feet are busy on earth running a household or meeting up with people). Because of her joy in the Father, her heart’s desire is to show women their God given identity in the kingdom of Heaven. You can find her on Instagram.