As followers of Jesus, we are blessed that we worship a God that we can have a personal, intimate relationship with. A God that is is so present for us all the time, and at any time that we turn to Him.
I accept this and I know this, but so often I struggle to live this out practically. As I learn more about God and who He is through scripture and conversations I come to the realisation that there’s so much to God that I can’t truly comprehend because He is God and I am just human.
I question: Does God really know me? Does He have time for me? Does He see what I am doing and struggling with? How can He, when there are so many other people to attend to? Why should I have significance to him? I grapple with these questions when I feel distant to God and I’m feeling low about myself.
My personal struggles are only made worse by the individualistic lives that western society tells us we should live. One of the hardest parts of leaning into a personal God is giving up the part of ourselves that is selfish, and tells us we can do it on own. When we are not pursuing God’s rhythm, we can fall into these moments of isolation and low worth, and succumb to the stress of trying to conform to the way of the world.
But truly I needn’t be so concerned or unsure of God’s power and nature. Looking at His Word reveals how deeply personally He knows us. It describes that God has done all the hard work for us, and when we try do things in our own strength, we are usually trying in vain.
Psalm 139 has been a source of encouragement and a reminder of self worth for many years. In it’s entirety it is a beautiful passage, describing the intimacy in which God our Creator knows us, starting with:
You have searched me, Lord, and you know me. You know when I sit and when I rise;
you perceive my thoughts from afar (Psalm number 139, verse 1 to 2).
And later in what are possibly my favourite verses 13 and 14; though I have yet to really deeply grasp the reality of it.
For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well (Psalm number 139, verse 13 to 14).
God knows our inmost being, He was there when we were the smallest of organisms and knew us then too. There’s not another being that knows us that intimately. How incredible is it then knowing that same being is the most powerful, loving and perfect? Does that not give us so much strength? Does that enable us to pursue a life that falls into rhythm with Christ?
And if after reading Psalm 139 and I still feel unsure of how personal God is to me, then Jesus’ own words surely provide comfort
I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep (John chapter 10, verse 14).
My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me. (John chapter 10, verse 27).
Jesus, the Good Shepherd, knows us, His sheep. He lays down his life for us. What a gift. He knows us in all our sinfulness, and yet, He still loves, pursues and lays down His life so that we may have a way back to our Father.
I have been hesitant in feeling truly vulnerable with the Father, as I struggle with understanding how can He attend to my needs, thanksgivings, or thoughts when there are millions of other believers crying out to him. How can He know me intimately, when there’s several billion other people currently living on Earth? But God is outside of time as I live in it. He is the author of the book, not confined to its pages He doesn’t need a moment as I know it as a human. He is the present.
When I mull over the scripture that reveals God’s power and works, and contemplate the difference between my knowledge and His higher knowledge, I do wonder why I feel any need to worry or feel isolation. God our Creator who made us, knows our inner most being, has all of eternity to consider our prayers and has a perfect rhythm of peace and power for us to pursue.
Rebecca Hoverd studies at The University of Auckland and loves writing as a way to communicate with God and to express her thoughts. She loves coffee, conversations and you can connect with her at email@example.com.