You have Searched Me — Psalm 139

The eyes of the Lord are ever upon those who fear Him and from the righteous He does not remove His gaze (Ps. 34:15; Job 36:7). Even now His eyes are set upon me, searching and knowing me to the deepest parts. My sitting and my rising, my thoughts and my words and the path of my feet…behold He knows it all completely. How easy it is for me—and for each of us—to keep these truths about His searching of us, this understanding of His knowing us utterly, as far away from our hearts as possible, only ascribing to a general assertion of God’s omniscience…of His fearsome knowing of all. And if we venture even a little further into the truth that He actually searches us out individually and knows us each profoundly on a day to day and moment to moment basis, if we allow our hearts to sink into this reality even a trace, we begin to tremble and quake and feel ourselves reeling in eagerness to run the other way. Even subconsciously, how my heart and yours flees from the vulnerability of a set gaze upon us—and more specifically, a gaze of perfection in which the One who sees us knows us to the very core utterly and deeply and totally. To us, searching eyes always mean rejection and a pure, steady gaze always means exposure and failure revealed.

Oh but Jesus. I consider once again the Eyes that search me out. I remember the One to whom this gaze belongs? It is the same One that the enemy and even the subtle atmosphere of my own heart continually accuses of being unkind, stingy and distant, though He in fact has proved Himself thunderously to be the kindest, the most extravagant, and the nearest of all. Once again, the lights appear in the hidden pockets of my darkened heart and I see where I have been yet been assuming lies of Him, swallowing accusations about Him as though they were a pill I needed to take and not rather the poison that they truly are to my inner man.

He has searched me and He knows me (Ps. 139:1). And I pose the question to my yet still-so-skeptical and doubtful heart. What if the Eyes that search me and know all are also the Eyes of greatest kindness—a kindness so holy and so other-than that it belongs to no man on earth except Him? And what if in His searching me out and His knowing of me unreservedly, when my evaluations of this season or that circumstance are only poor marks, He finds treasures that I never find and never see, rejoicing over heart-movements that I do not even perceive? What if the One who searches me out does not tally the score the way I do and His search does not culminate with the pointing out of all the ways I am missing the mark but rather with Him pulling from His treasury all the riches He found in me of small and even unperceived responses to Him, tiny choices of love that I wrote off as too fragile and broken to be of any worth? And of course, I find the answer to this “what if” to be a resounding “YES!” every time. For the “what if” comes only from my tightfisted faith and never from His thunderous proclaiming and unyielding demonstrating of a kindness unsearchable and a gentleness beyond the scope of comprehension. In His life and in His death and all throughout the story of redeeming love, He has told me a myriad of times.

Yesterday, as we sang Psalm 139 together in the prayer room, I wept under these Eyes of kindness so deep. My heart burned beneath the fire of a tenderness so unyielding. And once again I came under the washing waters of the truth that the One who searches me out and knows me most intimately, is also the One who takes greatest joy in me—even in the seasons I might dismiss. His perfect knowledge of me joins arms with His deep love for me and rather than evaluating me upon my shortcomings and failures, He searches me out in the deepest places—as though for hidden treasure—that He might find every small trace of love for Him working in me. And He finds what He is looking for. For the One who knows all things discerns more deeply and profoundly than any other—including myself—just how much I truly love Him (John 21:17).