My daughter and I read it, on our stomachs on her bed in the evening. She’s not sure she’s convinced about our new routine– reading the Bible and talking about it, praying out loud. On the one hand she loves me lying there with her, giving her my attention. On the other hand, she would rather be doing something “fun” like playing dolls or painting toenails or eating ice cream. Nevertheless, we keep reading.
Wednesday night, after a late supper of chicken and sweet potatoes and a needlepoint/ crochet session in which she continually “forgot” how to make half cross stitches while declaring over and over how easy stitching is, we are reading at the end of John 1.
Philip found Nathanael and said to him, “We have found him of whom Moses in the Law and also the prophets wrote, Jesus of Nazareth, the son of Joseph.” Nathanael said to him, “Can anything good come out of Nazareth?” Philip said to him, “Come and see.” Jesus saw Nathanael coming toward him and said of him, “Behold, an Israelite indeed, in whom there is no deceit!” Nathanael said to him, “How do you know me?” Jesus answered him, “Before Philip called you, when you were under the fig tree, I saw you.”
Jesus saw Nathanael. Long before Nathanael even knew Jesus existed, Jesus saw him. He is the same God whom Hagar named The God Who Sees Me. And as my little girl and I talk about what the verses mean, we find hope in this knowledge– that the God who saw Hagar, the God who saw Nathanael, is the same God who today sees us.
And then this morning– there it is again in Psalm 139:
O Lord, you have searched me and known me!
You know when I sit down and when I rise up;
you discern my thoughts from afar.
You search out my path and my lying down
and are acquainted with all my ways.
Even before a word is on my tongue,
behold, O Lord, you know it altogether.
You hem me in, behind and before,
and lay your hand upon me.
And as I read these words, my faithful God reminding me again of His care for me, how can I help but join with David–
Such knowledge is too wonderful for me;
it is high; I cannot attain it. . . .
I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made.
Wonderful are your works;
my soul knows it very well.
If ever there was a reason to praise, it is this– that God sees me, knows me, and beyond that, He created me and cares for me. He never fails to protect me or guide me. He is a loving Shepherd, a gentle Father, and He is always near.
My response to this must be simply to open myself to the work of God in my life. This God who made and knows me– He desires to change me. He sees the end of every path. He knows what is the best way for me to go, even when I am kicking and screaming and fighting against His plan. When I willingly place my heart in the keeping of the God who knows me, who loves me, who made me, He often takes me places I wish I didn’t have to go. He removes things I cherish and allows obstacles that frustrate and anger me. But in the end, His way is always best.
Oh, that we would have the courage to open ourselves to the work of God in our lives, to draw near to God so He may draw near to us, to pray with David–
Search me, O God, and know my heart!
Try me and know my thoughts!
And see if there be any grievous way in me,
and lead me in the way everlasting!