6.18.2013

Can All-Knowing Be Good News

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Like most people, I reacted with horror to the news of NSA's snooping into our everyday lives.  The thought of government surveilling our conversations is unsettling and ominous for a lot of reasons.  One can hardly think of any good that can come from that level of reach into the nooks and crannies of our lives.

What if it was worse?  What if there was a record of your every word and deed?  What if even your plans and ideas were viewable?  What if your inner-most thoughts could be accessed?  If you were shifting nervously before, you might be climbing the ways at the very thought of this.

And yet, what if I told you that this is unbelievably good news?  I am speaking of course of God.

It can be hard to conceive of a government benevolent enough to use the information about the seemingly private aspects of our lives.  For some, it can be even harder to conceive of God in this way.  Maybe we'd like to keep Him away from parts of our lives we're ashamed to have exposed.  Or maybe we've become disillusioned of His goodness, and have given up on the notion of a God who is for us.

If we have been sinned against, we can take comfort in a God who was neither distant nor uncaring.  The way the psalmist describes God thundering down to defend His wounded child in Psalm 50 has been a powerful word for a dear brother of mine who was sexually abused by a relative, and who often wondered in those heinous acts where God was.  Psalm 50 is God's reminder to my friend that God knows all, and it is an incredible comfort to him.

If we have sinned, still we can take comfort in God's all-knowing nature.  How often have we worried that someone would not love us if only they knew everything about us?  And so we hide from each other the things we think will offend them or push them away.  And yet it is not so with our God.  He knows all, and yet still He loves us with an everlasting love and has made sufficient His forgiveness and mercy for every wrong we've committed. What a relief!

It is a testament to my commitment to my sinful parts and to my prideful desire to hide weakness that I struggle so to believe in and embrace God's all-knowing nature, to accept that God knows all about me as a good and wonderful and comforting thing.  As with NSA's Prism program, I am reluctant to welcome such a knowledge of the deepest recesses of my psyche.  I am the lesser for it.  May I embrace the reality that God sees all, and live in the freedom, peace, and relief that comes from that wonderful truth.


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