Personally Known By Woodrow Kroll
But unto Thee have I cried, O LORD; and in the morning shall my prayer precede Thee.
We have today as our Scripture the darkest, most mournful psalm in the Psalter. This psalm is unique in that it is the only psalm in which the outpouring to God of a burdened heart fails to bring relief or consolation.
Yet, as terrible as the despair of the psalmist is, he is not in utter despair. No one who utterly despairs will pray, for prayer is the proof of lingering hope. Even in the midst of despair, the psalmist recognizes that, should there be any hope, it will be found only in God (Psalm 88:1,2,9,13).
Have you ever felt alone? Have you ever felt abandoned, even by God? Have you ever felt you have been left to face the world and its trials all by yourself? If so, you can join the rest of us and the writer of this psalm. He felt he had been abandoned by God, that he was all alone. The psalmist was concerned that he was not getting through to God, that his prayers were not being heard. God appeared to be unmoved by his prayers.
With a trouble-filled soul, the psalmist was convinced that his "life draweth nigh unto the grave" and that he was numbered "with them that go down into the pit." He had been afflicted with waves of the wrath of God. Night and day he wept because of his affliction. He says, "But unto Thee have I cried, O LORD; and in the morning shall my prayer precede Thee" (Psalm 88:13). Day after day he arose before the dawn and began to pray before the sun was up. He was consistent in seeking the face of the Lord early in the morning. Still no resolution was given to his problem. No answer came from God.
Perhaps the psalmist felt that God did not know who he was. Perhaps he was just another face in the crowd, unknown to the Lord of heaven. Perhaps he was just too insignificant for God to take time to hear his prayer. All of these were a "perhaps" in his mind. None of them was true.
There is a small arctic seabird called the guillemot that lives on the rocky cliffs of northern coastal regions. These birds flock together by the thousands in comparatively small areas. Because of the extremely crowded conditions the females must lay their pear-shaped eggs side by side in a long row on a narrow ledge. All the eggs look alike, but the mother bird knows exactly which one is hers. If someone disturbs the eggs and moves one of them, the mother guillemot is able to find her egg among the thousands and return it to its original location. To the human eye the eggs appear as if they have been mass produced on an assembly line. To the guillemot, each egg is known personally, identified personally, and attended personally.
The Bible is clear that our heavenly Father is even more intimately acquainted with His own children than the mother guillemot is with her egg. He knows us, He knows us personally. He even knows the number of hairs on our heads. He can tell identical twins apart. He knows every thought and emotion we have, and He understands all the decisions we make. He gives personal attention to each of us in all our affairs from morning until night.
So great is our Lord's loving concern for our lives that Jesus told His disciples the Father knows when a single sparrow falls upon the ground. Since human beings are of much greater value than the fowls of the air, we can certainly be assured that He knows all about us. We are the object of His constant care and attention. We have not been abandoned by God, nor as His children will we ever be abandoned.
Be not dismayed whate'er betide,
God will take care of you;
Beneath His wings of love abide
God will take care of you.