You have searched me, Lord,
    and you know me.
You know when I sit and when I rise;
    you perceive my thoughts from afar.
You discern my going out and my lying down;
    you are familiar with all my ways.
Before a word is on my tongue
    you, Lord, know it completely.
You hem me in behind and before,
    and you lay your hand upon me.
Such knowledge is too wonderful for me,
    too lofty for me to attain.

Where can I go from your Spirit?
    Where can I flee from your presence?
If I go up to the heavens, you are there;
    if I make my bed in the depths, you are there.
If I rise on the wings of the dawn,
    if I settle on the far side of the sea,
10 even there your hand will guide me,
    your right hand will hold me fast.
11 If I say, “Surely the darkness will hide me
    and the light become night around me,”
12 even the darkness will not be dark to you;
    the night will shine like the day,
    for darkness is as light to you.

13 For you created my inmost being;
    you knit me together in my mother’s womb.
14 I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
    your works are wonderful,
    I know that full well.
15 My frame was not hidden from you
    when I was made in the secret place,
    when I was woven together in the depths of the earth.
16 Your eyes saw my unformed body;
    all the days ordained for me were written in your book
    before one of them came to be.
17 How precious to me are your thoughts,[a] God!
    How vast is the sum of them!
18 Were I to count them,
    they would outnumber the grains of sand—
    when I awake, I am still with you.

19 If only you, God, would slay the wicked!
    Away from me, you who are bloodthirsty!
20 They speak of you with evil intent;
    your adversaries misuse your name.
21 Do I not hate those who hate you, Lord,
    and abhor those who are in rebellion against you?
22 I have nothing but hatred for them;
    I count them my enemies.
23 Search me, God, and know my heart;
    test me and know my anxious thoughts.
24 See if there is any offensive way in me,
    and lead me in the way everlasting.

‘You’ve searched me and you’ve known me’. Can there be a more terrifying and comforting in equal measure opening phrase in all of Scripture. What if God actually sees straight into me and knows me for who I really am? What then? I think if I ever stopped to realise that I am completely known by God I would be completely undone. There is no hiding place. I’m not sure if I even want there to be one anyway. But what these few words say to me is that faith in God, loving God, knowing God, being known by God is not something to be over-relaxed about. This is serious stuff. When we come to pray, to sing, to worship, to talk about God and his Word, we are talking about the one who sees all that we are, individually and together as humanity and yet loves us just the same. Some days I can’t get my head around that at all.
But yet, a few verses later, we have
14 I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
    your works are wonderful,
    I know that full well.
Fearfully in this context means amazingly, rather than in the sense of needing to be frightened. The handiwork of God is powerful and good and the writer of the psalm, the ones who sing this song, they thank God because they are wonderfully made and completely known. Have you been able to do that recently?
At the end of the psalm, the psalmist is so confident in who they are in God that they invite Him to again search and know them. And then the desire which I think most of us could join in with, ‘lead me in the way which is everlasting.’ I hope you will let God do that today.
Something To Do
Think about the aspect of yourself that you like the least. Even that bit of you is fearfully and wonderfully made. Be kind to yourself today.
Something To Pray
Pray for those who struggle with knowing they are enough, either enough for God, themselves or for other people. Ask God to use you to help them today.