“Lord, all my desire is before You; and my sighing is not hidden from You” (Psalm 38:9).
DAVID WAS COMFORTED, RATHER THAN FRIGHTENED, BY THE KNOWLEDGE THAT GOD KNEW EVERYTHING ABOUT HIM. Can we go any place and God not be there? No. Can we do anything and God not know about it? No. Can we think any thought and God not be aware of it? No. But these facts are not fearful; they are encouraging. At least they can be and should be. “O Lord, You have searched me and known me. You know my sitting down and my rising up; You understand my thought afar off” (Psalm 139:1,2).
One of the heaviest burdens we ever have to bear in life is to have a deep, aching need within us and have to bear it alone. Sometimes there is not even one other human being who could do anything about our need, even if they knew about it. What an unspeakable source of comfort, then, to know that God knows. “All my desire is before You . . . my sighing is not hidden from You.”
So God knows what we need even before we ask Him for His help. Jesus said, “Your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things” (Matthew 6:32). But here is the amazing thing: God knows what we need even before we are aware that we need it. Having created us, He knows more about our needs than we do. And when our hearts are broken by the pain and emptiness of some need that must, for the time being, remain unfulfilled, our hearts do not hurt half as much as He hurts for us. He loves us more than we love ourselves, and we cannot hurt without His feeling it.
On top of all of that, there is the additional fact that God has taken upon Himself our fleshly form and lived among us, experiencing every ounce of what it is like to suffer human sorrow. “For we do not have a High Priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses” (Hebrews 4:15). God knows our needs not only theoretically; He knows them experientially. He has been one of us.
But although God knows our needs even before we ask Him for His help, He still wants us to ask. And when we do so, we can ask knowing that He understands and He cares. He is our Father.
“There is no thought, feeling, yearning, or desire, however low, trifling, or vulgar we may deem it, which, if it affects our real interest or happiness, we may not lay before God and be sure of His sympathy” (Henry Ward Beecher).