What if the Bible told the story of a God who could hear some of our attempts to talk to him, some of the time…but that because of his busy schedule and all of the background noise he has to deal with, he doesn’t hear everything we are trying to say to him? In that kind of relationship, I’m thinking a conversation might go something like this:
“Hello, God… It’s me again… Mart… from Grand Rapids. Can you hear me? I hope I am speaking loud enough and not getting you at a bad time. Last time I tried to get in touch with you I ended up feeling like I was just talking to myself. So I’m going to try and speak more clearly, and slowly this time.
… (5 minutes of explanation)… but, (six complaints).. and, (10 requests)… I guess that’s enough for now. I just wish I knew how much you were hearing and seeing. Well, I guess you have more important things to do. So I’ll say, good bye for now.
Yeh, that’s a bit foolish and even pagan. It’s not where I am–or maybe I should say it’s not where I want to be. I could stand next to you in church and confess belief in a God who is so infinitely great that nothing is too small to escape his notice or concern. But too often I don’t act that way. I wish that in the anxious, restless times of my life, my heart was closer to what King David wrote below than to what I’ve written above,
“O Lord, you have examined my heart and know everything about me. You know when I sit down or stand up. You know my thoughts even when I’m far away. You see me when I travel and when I rest at home. You know everything I do.
You know what I am going to say even before I say it, Lord. You go before me and follow me. You place your hand of blessing on my head. Such knowledge is too wonderful for me, too great for me to understand! I can never escape from your Spirit! I can never get away from your presence!
If I go up to heaven, you are there; if I go down to the grave, you are there. If I ride the wings of the morning, if I dwell by the farthest oceans, even there your hand will guide me, and your strength will support me.
I could ask the darkness to hide me and the light around me to become night- but even in darkness I cannot hide from you. To you the night shines as bright as day. Darkness and light are the same to you.
You made all the delicate, inner parts of my body and knit me together in my mother’s womb. Thank you for making me so wonderfully complex! Your workmanship is marvelous-how well I know it.
You watched me as I was being formed in utter seclusion, as I was woven together in the dark of the womb. You saw me before I was born. Every day of my life was recorded in your book. Every moment was laid out before a single day had passed.
How precious are your thoughts about me, O God. They cannot be numbered! I can’t even count them; they outnumber the grains of sand! And when I wake up, you are still with me!”
(Psalm 139:1-18 from the New Living Translation)