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Search Me

Search me, God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting. Psalm 139:23-24

When I head out to the beach, especially in those first days of my body being exposed to that marvelous giant orb of sunlight after a long winter, I do not want to leave any of my flesh vulnerable to being burned. It happens every year: sunburned lips, a forgotten strip of my back or my ears or my forehead where I didn't reapply properly. Not only do I feel silly in my glowing red and now swollen appearance, but it hurts! Oh the shower hurts, clothes can hurt, bumping into something can hurt...and then there is the knowledge of skin cancer...I want to search every bit of my body and slather that sunscreen thoroughly.

God has similarly (but obviously far more significantly) offered to cover us in His robes of splendor, in the righteousness of Jesus, in the perfectly unfailing accomplishments and disposition of the completed works of and person of Jesus. I don't have to risk exposure to judgment or future doom and misery but can be confident that in all circumstances I am secure in His Goodness.

But I have calmed and quieted myself, I am like a weaned child with its mother; like a weaned child I am content. Psalm 131:2

If you've had occasion to hold a squirming, unsettled baby, you know the strength of that tiny body when his or her back is thrown into an arch and you almost drop the poor tiny dependent creature. The volume of screaming distress is contagious as a parent absorbs the tension and begins to mirror the same level of panic. Human bodies don't just mirror the bodies around them but reflect what is happening internally. When I find my back and arms tight and tense and my breathing a little more shallow, it usually points to something that feels threatening to me in some way...a deadline, a defiant child, an expense that is more than my wallet holds, a disconnect in a relationship, a tank in need of gas with fewer miles left than the distance to the station, and many more extreme and more common examples. The physical sensations of my body alert me to emotions that reflect a core belief about who I am and Whose I or in danger, cared for or orphaned, belonging or isolated, naked and ashamed or covered in armor, self-reliant or securely Shepherded.

Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength. Matthew 12:30

50% of ourselves with which we are asked to trust and love God focuses on our bodies and emotions! If I am disregarding what they are telling me about what I really believe about God's promises, Who He is, what He has accomplished and has guaranteed to complete, then I am missing the fullness of enjoying the day at the beach in safety and freedom to play longer, remain in conversation out in the ocean with loved ones longer, focus on the world around me and the people in front of my rather than my own discomfort and shame.

Oh to be searched and shown where I don't actually believe, where my fears and unsettled body expose my little faith and lack of confidence that He will never leave me nor forsake me and that nothing I do or don't do can ever separate me from His love. Don't we want more of that?


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