Monday, July 15, 2019

From the Womb

Psalm 22 (and other places in the Scripture) say that God was your God from the womb, and this raises an interesting and important question. Is God your God from the womb because He knows you before you know Him...or because you know Him before you know anything else?

We often say, without hesitation and without even giving it much of a second thought, that passages like this are there to remind us how intimately God knows us, that He has known us before we knew ourselves, that He has counted every hair on our heads and knows our lying down and our getting up. So from the very beginning, He has known us and loved us. And, we assume, He has been our God - watching over us, disciplining us, growing us, guiding us, and guarding us. Yes, it is clearly because He knows us that He is our God from the womb. 

Because, also, we were in the womb; we didn't know anything. How could we? 

Or could we?

I don't think we give the depths of our spirit enough credit. I don't think we give our inmost being much thought. If God knit us together, then every fabric of who we are has His touch on it. 

As we grow and as we get older, we know things that we don't know how we know. We sense them with absolute certainty. We come to call this our gut or our intuition or or just plain knowing, and most of us don't even question it. In fact, we come to trust it all the more the more we follow it because something about it is usually right. (It can, of course, be tainted by our experiences in this world, but at its purest, there's something incredibly accurate about it.) Some of us call it our spirit. Our spirit just knows. We don't know how it knows, but it knows.

And yet, we don't consider that perhaps our spirit has known before we could understand its knowing. Perhaps it has known from the very beginning. Perhaps from the very first beating of our heart, or even before that - from that electrical burst of life that happens when sperm meets egg, something inside of us has known God. Known Him beyond what we could ever consciously know of Him. 

After all, doesn't there have to be some reason human beings spend their lives looking for transcendence and meaning and...God? From the very beginning, we have sought to know Him, to understand Him. We have created Him in our image in an attempt to satisfy our longing without all the messiness of real faith. We have worshiped the sun and the moon and the stars and all sorts of created things, hoping they'll get us closer to what something in the depths of us just aches for. Something we can't put our finger on, but we know it's out there. We've convinced ourselves it's in here. 

The only thing we haven't been able to do, in all of human history, is rid ourselves of the longing for God. The only thing we haven't been able to do is convince ourselves that there isn't one. (Even atheists have faith and participate in worship; they just don't direct it toward something that would be typically called a god, but they have made it their god all the same.) 

Something inside of you knows God. Has known Him from the very, very beginning. From the womb. It's not foolishness, then, to seek Him. It's not odd to build a life of faith. It's not crazy to believe there's something more than you know, even in your knowing; you already know that there is. It's woven into you. 

By the One who knows you so well. 

Isn't that something?

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