Numbers 12-14
Mark 5:21-43

“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

There is an old hymn with a line that goes, “For the One who knows me best loves me most.” God was the One who formed our innermost being; nothing about us is hidden from God. Indeed, He is the One who knows us best and loves us the most. In His presence, we are seen, safe and secure. As we are honest with God about how we really feel, we can also bring our anger before Him, knowing that He takes our anger seriously. 

In Psalm 139, David prayed these words of anger: “If only You, God, would slay the wicked! Away from me, you who are bloodthirsty! They speak of You with evil intent; Your adversaries misuse Your name. Do I not hate those who hate You, Lord, and abhor those who are in rebellion against You? I have nothing but hatred for them; I count them my enemies” (Psalm 139:19-22). David lashed out in this raw expression of anger. 

If we find that we are harbouring anger, we do well to express that anger to God. In Answering God: The Psalms as Tools for Prayer, the late Eugene Peterson says, “When we take the Psalms as our guide, we find that people who pray have a lot of enemies, and that they spend a lot of their praying time dealing with them.” If we are carrying vengeance, we do well to place that vengeance in God’s hands. Theologian Walter Brueggemann writes in The Message of the Psalms: “It is an act of profound faith to entrust one’s most precious hatreds to God, knowing they will be taken seriously.” 

American social psychologist and Professor Emeritus of Psychology at the University of Texas at Austin, James Pennebaker, along with his research team, studied what happens to trauma survivors who keep their experience a secret. They discovered that if a person goes through a trauma and discusses it with no one, in many cases, it is actually more damaging over time than the original trauma itself. However, when a person goes through trauma and is able to confide it with someone they trust, their physical health improves and their stress hormones are significantly decreased. When we share our anger or painful experience in the presence of God—whom we feel seen, safe and securely attached to—with a pastor, counsellor or friend, we can feel a sense of relief that only God can provide. 

David expressed his true heart to God. As David begins Psalm 139 asking God to search him, he concludes this Psalm with the same invitation for God to search him, to know his heart and to transform him.

Dear God, thank You for listening to my true heart—even my raw anger—and taking my prayers seriously. I am grateful that You are a God who cares. In You alone do I find healing.

Older Post Newer Post