And God Knew
Brokenness and healing. These were the dominant themes from this past weekend’s Oklahoma Ladies Retreat at Falls Creek in Davis, OK. I had the great opportunity to attend the retreat, and I was so blessed by the thick presence of the Holy Spirit as we were led to contemplate the healing we find in Christ. Angie Smith, Lisa Harper, and the Jeff Johnson Band ministered deeply to us as we confronted the issues of our brokenness that separate us from abundant life in Christ.
As we experience trials in our brokenness, it’s common to wonder if God is there. Does He know I’m going through this situation? Does He even care? When I was a young girl seeing cocaine on our kitchen counter or watching my mom roll a joint, I wondered if God knew. As my stepdad beat my mother to near hospitalization or when she asked me to lie underneath his truck so he couldn’t leave, I wondered if God knew. And in my 20s as my dad fought for his life in the ICU after complications from a lung transplant, I wondered where was God. Did He see me here in all of this brokenness?
God’s Word has great insight to His character in response to our broken situations. Exodus 2:23 says that during the “many days” of their oppression under the Egyptians, the people of Israel groaned and “cried out for help.” Verse 24 goes on to reveal that not only did God hear their groans, but He “saw the people of Israel–and God knew.” God knew! Don’t you just love that? When God’s children groan in their suffering and cry out to Him, He sees them and He knows. The ESV Study Bible commentary notes here that this knowing isn’t a passive knowledge, but a kind of knowing that prompts action. The Faithlife Study Bible comments that not only does God see and know the suffering of His people, He empathizes and identifies with them.
This is the response of God in our broken situations. As sons of Abraham through adoption in Christ (Galatians 3:8), we are His people, and He hears our groans and cries for help. He empathizes in our brokenness, and He is moved to act on our behalf.
In regards to trials, Martin Luther said they teach us, “not only to know and understand but also to experience how right, how true, how sweet, how lovely, how mighty, how comforting God’s word is.” In our times of brokenness, God sees us, knows our situation, and reveals Himself to us through His word. What a rich promise.