Search me, O God, and know my heart; try me and know my anxious thoughts; and see if there be any hurtful way in me, and lead me in the everlasting way.
Total openness with God is the way forward in spiritual growth!
It’s amazing that we hold ourselves back from this kind of openness with God. He is completely trustworthy; He always responds with love and tenderness to those who come to Him with humility and openness; He is open-hearted toward us, ready to reveal His own heart to us any time He finds us responsive to Him; He wants what is good for us; He loves to bless us; the change He wants to bring into our lives, though sometimes painful or challenging, is always full of blessing for us.
Yet still we hesitate to pray the prayer of these verses. If God searches my heart, He may expose some ugliness there that I don’t want to deal with. He may find a “hurtful way in me” that I am used to and don’t want to root out. He may call me to cut out of my life some sinful way of relating or acting that I really don’t want to change.
“Lead me in the everlasting way” is a prayer that says, “Lord, if You will show me the way forward, I’ll trust you and go that way, even if it’s painful”.