“Search me, God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts.” Psalms 139:23 NRSV
“Search me, God,” the psalmist opens with an invitation that can seem frightening. We all probably have areas of our hearts we would rather not have God see. Personally, I know when I search my heart, there are things of which I’m not proud. Perhaps that’s the point, though, in inviting God in, we first do a personal inventory of those places in our hearts that require attention. Then, knowing that the Almighty is coming, we are motivated to put our houses in order.
The psalmist goes on asking God to “test me and know my anxious thoughts.” Who of us likes to be tested? However, if you know a test is coming, it is good to be prepared. There may still be some surprises during the test, but in praying, reading scripture, and meditating upon the word, we are better prepared for the coming trial.
What about our anxious thoughts? Admit it, even though we know we shouldn’t worry, we know God will always provide (Matthew 6:25-24); our default human mode is to worry and fret -- and Satan delights when we are anxious. When we are fearful, we are weakened and more susceptible to sin. But, by inviting God to know our anxious thoughts, we are seeking his help.
God, we give you thanks for your understanding and forgiveness. We confess that our hearts are not pure, and our minds are crowded with anxious thoughts. In our imperfection, God, please come and search us and know our thoughts. Help us as we strive to become your people and righteous servants. Amen.