Search me, O God, and know my heart: try me, and know my thoughts: And see if there be any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.
Psalm 139:23-24 KJV
How much do we know of ourselves? Whenever I find my emotions clouding my judgment, I find myself in need of a person who can extract truth and fact from me; a person who can help me arrive at wise answers; a person who can reveal what’s false even if it hurts.
Best person to do this, of course, is God. He knows how best to examine the heart.
I like how the Garden of Eden reveals a “Heart Doctor” scene in human history. When Adam and Eve sinned and were hiding from God, they heard a question from the Almighty Doctor: “Where are you?”
It wasn’t as if God didn’t know which particular bush or rock Adan and Eve were hiding behind. Being God, this little detail wasn’t a mystery to Him. Yet His question served as a trigger meant to reveal the hearts of Adam and Eve to themselves. Did they know they were distancing themselves from Him?
You see, when sin is present, we humans have a tendency to hide or to cover sin up with reasons and excuses. God knows that. We also love to blame shift. God also knows that. Yet God in His mercy asks one question that matters: “Where are you?” (see Gen. 3:9)
It’s as if He’s saying, “Do you know that you’re hiding from me? Come out! Don’t hide! I’m here! Talk to me! Let’s sort this out!”
Are we aware that God still wants to be involved in our lives when we sin or make mistakes? Are we aware of the moments we go hiding from God?
The One Person who can free us and help us heal is the One Person we usually hide from!
I remember when my heart accused someone who had hurt me. I was an emotional, angry mess. Before the throne room of God, I complained and poured out all my grievances against this person. After my little tirade, I asked God, “What do you have to say about this, Lord?” The Great Heart Examiner whispered, “Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye?” (Matthew 7:3) Very slowly, God revealed to me that I was guilty of the very accusations I had made against this fellow.
It was a tough heart examination; one where I needed God’s probing divine microscope to see what I didn’t see before. “Where are you?” was the question I had to answer. Where was I in the innocence of my heart? Where was I in choosing righteousness? I was lost in all the accusations I was making that I didn’t see myself! Once I repented, I experienced a lot more freedom. I knew I was standing in grace and a greater self-awareness.
The Lord knows our hearts—every nook and cranny. He knows every detail. He knows our tendencies. What’s wonderful is that He sees all the icky stuff and isn’t afraid to love us despite them. Therefore, when we hear Him say, “Where are you?”, let’s not be afraid to ask Him to search our hearts.
Janina Marie Rivera is the Editor-in-Chief of One Voice Magazine, a teacher of world literature, and a student of the Bible. She enjoys reflecting on life’s curve balls and plateaus. She resides in the Philippines, the country known for people who smile a lot.