Stories, Told and Untold

O LORD, you have searched me and known me! You know when I sit down and when I rise up; you discern my thoughts from afar. You search out my path and my lying down and are acquainted with all my ways. Even before a word is on my tongue, behold, O LORD, you know it altogether. You hem me in, behind and before, and lay your hand upon me. (Psalm 139:1-5, ESV)

The first round of the US Open begins today. Anticipation has been building for weeks. According to Tom O’Toole, chairman of the USGA championship committee, “Pebble Beach is a magical place. It is one of our most treasured US Open sites.” Pebble Beach will provide the landscape where old stories will be remembered and new ones written.

What stories are you anticipating from the Open? Have you ever thought about the fact that every golfer to tee off today has a story we know nothing about? And yet, we hold high expectations for these players; we want to be entertained while simultaneously critiquing every shot. We allow little consideration for the story they carry as they walk inside the ropes.

What about your story? Have you wondered about the ways the good and the hard circumstances have impacted your soul? The dignified Maya Angelou said, “There is no greater agony than bearing an untold story inside of you.”

Ten years ago, I had an untold story hiding inside while I walked the fairways on tour. My life appeared predictable, exciting, and successful. I was good, really good, at putting on my game face, but I was a mess internally. Don’t misunderstand me, I experienced blessings and spiritual growth during this season; but God was not fooled.

Let’s think over four words from today’s scripture passage that speak to how God knows our stories. The Hebrew for the first use of the word search(ed) is haqar; it means to examine intimately. Yada, the word for known, means God knows our hearts entirely and the suffering of his people. The second use of search is zarah, which indicates keeping a careful watch on people or watching their paths closely. Lastly, the word hem is sur and means to besiege, to bind, a protective barrier.

What do you feel as you ponder that God knows your story? He examines intimately everything about our lives. God knows our hearts and our suffering. He keeps a careful watch over our paths. He provides a protective barrier around us. You are safe in his knowing.

I hope you enjoy following the Open over the next four days. Remember, these men are real people who are living real stories, just like you and me. May we all feel the courage and grace to lean into deeper levels of vulnerability with God and others and share our untold stories.

Tracy Hanson
June 13, 2019
Copyright 2019 Links Players International
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