I was reading through the Psalms tonight, and 139 met me right where I was at.
"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."
God's omniscience is something I have always tried to wrap my head around. That paradox where our free will has been altogether seen before it's even been acted upon, or that the words of my prayers tonight were already known before they were said. It's not something we're meant to understand, but it is something we're meant to put our faith and trust in, and that for me has always been difficult. I hate being left in the dark. I always want to know what "the plan" is. I know I've stated numerous times in the past (and in previous blogs) that I am not one who believes in living life passively and expecting God to move, or living in such a way where every little decision in life has to be brought before God as "The heart of man plans his way, but the LORD establishes his steps." (Proverbs 16:9)
It seems most of the plans I set my heart to never come to fruition. I am guilty of focusing too much on the former and trying to make everything happen under my own power rather than trusting God's guidance. At the beginning of this year I thought to myself "this is going to be my year!" (Whatever that meant) I had just regained my health, had a new outlook on life, and was ready to hit the ground running. I accomplished a lot this year, and as it is coming to a close, I feel as if I could have accomplished more or gained what I've hoped to gain. The end of the year is always hard for me, because it causes me to reflect on my choices that led me to where I'm at and thinking about where I wish I were. The new year starts and I'm back at it again. It is comforting, however, to reflect what Psalms 139 states later on in verse 8-10.
"If I ascend to heaven, you are there! If I make my bed in Sheol, you are there! If I take the wings of the morning and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea, even there your hand shall lead me, and your right hand shall hold me."
No matter how many wrong turns I take, or how hard I try in my own power to make things happen, God is there to lead me back. I need to get back to that balance of trusting God's guidance, because without it I make some pretty stupid decisions. At least with passivity one is fully relying on God, but I took the opposite extreme, which is worse. Perhaps I have a vice of leaning towards my own impulses because I am afraid of where God is leading me. I am afraid that He may be leading me where I don't want to go, or that His answer is not what I want to hear. I obviously am not skilled at making things happen exactly as I see fit. I need to start letting go and letting God. If you are reading this and are like me or can relate, direct your steps back to God. Stop relying on your own strength. But even when we misstep, God knew we would misstep, so don't think it's too late to get back where God wants you to be. It comforting to know God is ultimately in control.
"Your eyes saw my unformed substance; in your book were written, every one of them, the days that were formed for me, when as yet there was none of them. How precious to me are your thoughts, O God! How vast is the sum of them! If I would count them, they are more than the sand. I awake, and I am still with you." (v. 16-18)
If getting back on the track is hard, the ending of the chapter really was the answer for me. "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!" (v.23-24) Asking God to search your heart is probably the scariest thing you could ask, but in searching He isn't going to find what He doesn't already know, but only reveal to you what you've been blind to. One thing we will always be blind to, however, is our future, and we must trust God.
My prayer is that of verses 23-24. No matter where God leads us, even if it is down a path we never wanted to go down initially, He has His purpose, and for that purpose is why we were created.