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I Know You


O LORD, You have searched me and known me. You know my sitting down and my rising up.
Psalm 139

Amy Carmichael was a young girl from Belfast, my home city, who gave her life to God in missions and her heart to India for fifty years establishing the now famous Dohnavur Fellowship. Her focus centered on rescuing and reclaiming young girls who were being forced into prostitution to support the priests of the local Hindu Temples. Later in life, Amy suffered a horrible fall that confined her to bed. She never returned to Northern Ireland. It is said that from her bed she spent her last days praying, counseling, and witnessing to many. Above her bed she had two plaques. One said, "Fear Not," while the other said, "I know."

I love it and I get it! Each and every day Amy Carmichael reminded herself and those who visited her that one need not fear a known present or a unknown future if one understands that God knows all about us, what we are going through, and what it will take to get us through. Our knowledge of His knowledge of us is a great comfort to the anxious heart and affords the believer a place to stand amidst the swirl of changing circumstances. To know that we are known to God and loved by God is all we need to know when the chips are down and the problems of life are piling up. It was a blessing to Job to know that God knows (Job 23:10)! It was an encouragement to David to know that God knows (Psalm 103:14)! And it was a help to the disciples of Jesus to know that God knows (Matt. 6:8)!

The truth that we are never out of God's mind or beyond the reach of His love is wonderfully communicated in Psalm 139, a Psalm written by King David. This is a celebratory song that extols the exhaustive knowledge of God and His personal interest in our lives (Psalm 139:17-18). First, God knows us personally (Psalm 139:1-6). God knows us better than we know ourselves. He knows our every movement, action, thought, and word. Second, God knows us physically (Psalm 139:7-16). He knows where we are and who we are. The feet that God made can never take us to a place on earth where God's loving interest in us does not exist. The God who saw us yet unformed in our mother's womb has never lost sight of us for a second. Third, God knows us prophetically (Psalm 139:16). God not only knows our past and present but also our future. As one version puts it, "all of our days have been written down in God's book, and planned before a single one of them began." The Christian does not need to fear tomorrow, for God is already there.

The big take away from Psalm 139 is that in the final analysis the most amazing thing about being a Christian is not that we know God, but that He knows us. And His knowledge of us is the knowledge of a lover. God is not a computer-like figure crunching the numbers on human life, but rather a God who loves us in Christ, a God who is constantly taking note of us in love, and watching over us for our good. The Old Testament would remind us that we are graven on the palms of God's hands, and the New Testament would remind us that those hands are nail scarred. Fear not, He knows!

Heavenly Father, It is a wonderful thought to know that I am in Your thoughts. Thank you for the countless times You have proven Your awareness of me and my condition. The wonder of it all grips me and encourages me to trust You even more. May my days be lived in light of this glorious truth. Amen.