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Open Arms By Shelly Beach

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1 Open Arms By Shelly Beach on Tue Mar 14, 2017 9:24 am


Open Arms By Shelly Beach

Read: Psalm 139:17–24

Search me, God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. Psalm 139:23

The day my husband, Dan, and I began our caregiving journey with our aging parents, we linked arms and felt as if we were plunging off a cliff. We didn’t know that in the process of caregiving the hardest task we would face would be to allow our hearts to be searched and molded and to allow God to use this special time to make us like Him in new ways.

On days when I felt I was plunging toward earth in an out-of-control free-fall, God showed me my agendas, my reservations, my fears, my pride, and my selfishness. He used my broken places to show me His love and forgiveness.

My pastor has said, “The best day is the day you see yourself for who you are—desperate without Christ. Then see yourself as He sees you—complete in Him.” This was the blessing of caregiving in my life. As I saw who God had created me to be, I turned and ran weeping into His arms. I cried out with the psalmist: “Search me, God, and know my heart” (Ps. 139:23).

This is my prayer for you—that as you see yourself in the midst of your own circumstances, you will turn and run into the open, loving, and forgiving arms of God.

Gracious Father, I recognize today my desperate need of Your love, wisdom, and grace. Search me and know me. Pour out Your grace and mercy in my life to bring healing to my heart.

When worry walks in, strength runs out. But strength returns when we run to God.


There is no place where David is outside God’s protective presence and care (139:7–12). Recognizing that it was a great privilege to know such a God, David prayed a prayer of commitment, seeking to live a blameless life (vv. 23-24). Even as he asks God to “search and test” him (v. 23), he was well-assured that God already knew him through and through, for he had declared at the start of this song, “You have searched me, Lord, and you know me” (v. 1). The Old Testament patriarch Job made a similar statement, “But he knows the way that I take; when he has tested me, I will come forth as gold” (Job 23:10). Job’s world had been turned upside down, having lost his wealth, his family, and his health (1:14–2:7). In the midst of his trials he boldly asks, “Does [God] not see my ways and count my every step?” (31:4). Perhaps, like David and Job, you may be going through a rough patch. We can be encouraged that our God knows and cares. What is your response to the truth that God knows everything about you and His arms of love are always open?

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