Beliefnet
Mark D. Roberts

God Knows Everything You Long For

You know what I long for, Lord;
     you hear my every sigh.

Psalm 38 was written in a time of deep anguish and exhaustion. David
was physically ill, believing that his suffering was a result of his own
sinful choices. Moreover, his enemies were making plans to destroy him.
In desperation, he cried out to God for help, thus composing the prayer
we know as Psalm 38.

In the center of this prayer, David says, “You know what I long for,
Lord; you hear my every sigh” (v. 9). The original Hebrew of this verse
could be translated more literally, “All my desires are before you,
Lord; my sighing is not hidden from you.” David has laid himself bare
before God. He has opened his heart, sharing every desire and every
discouragement. He has hidden nothing from the Lord, aware that God sees
all, anyway.

How do you respond to the idea that God knows all of your longings?
When I consider this truth, at first I feel reassured. How good it is to
remember that God knows all that I desire. But then I am caught up
short. I am well aware that some of my desires are selfish and sinful.
I’d rather keep these secret, or at least that’s my initial thought.

But then, as I reflect more deeply, I am once again reassured. God
knows even my evil desires, yet he still loves me. God knows how easily I
can seek after my own good and glory, yet he still has called me into
his service. The fact that God knows every longing of my heart gives me
freedom to be myself before the Lord. I don’t have to pretend when I
pray. I don’t have to phrase my confession so it doesn’t sound too bad.
Rather, I can freely reveal all that I am to the Lord, confident that
his acceptance of me is not predicated on my goodness, but on his grace.

QUESTIONS FOR FURTHER REFLECTION: How does the thought
that God knows your every longing impact you? Is this reassuring?
Troubling? Encouraging? Do you ever try to hide from God? Why? What
encourages you to open your heart freely and fully to him?

PRAYER: Gracious God, yes, indeed, you know what I
long for. Every desire of my heart is known to you. You know the good
desires, the bad, and all that’s in between. You see when I want your
way and when I seek my own. You know me through and through.

And yet you still accept me through Christ. I belong to you forever,
not because I am worthy, but because you have chosen me in love. Thus, I
can open my life to you in the knowledge that you already know me and
have embraced me through your grace.

Help me, dear Lord, to live in the reassurance that you know me through
and through. May I learn to live in you each moment, communing with
you, attending to your Spirit, seeking your glory.

I pray in the name of Jesus, Amen.

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