Friday, 6 June 2014

Love/d On A Friday: Perfectly Known

When I was little Sunday School made God feel like another subject. 

When I was grown up I discovered I'd been misled.  I was meant to know Him not just about Him.  It was why Jesus came:  so I could know God.  It's Paul's 'determined purpose' - to know Christ (apparently it's the same language that describes the way a husband and wife know each other).

But being realistic, how can I know God?  As He truly is without the false perceptions?  I've heard about people who keep notebooks they add verses to describing His attributes.  I'm sure it's good but, and perhaps it should be, it's so not me.

Can I know Him by looking at Jesus?  He reveals His Father and mine.  Our Father.  But how do I know Jesus?

This needing to know easily becomes more responsibility, more that I have got to do.  More to fail at.

But what if instead of feeling bad how little I know and worrying about what I know, I decide to enjoy the getting to know?  Because I think God can actually take me looking up to Him like He's my Father and be the One to show me who He really is.

I read the end of Cold Comfort Farm and it seems to say it exactly how I think perhaps it should be:

"Charles, you do smell nice.  Is it stuff you put on your hair, or what?  Oh, it is nice to think what years and years we have got in which to find out things like that!"
(Flora to Charles, by Stella Gibbons)

In real life if you have somebody to love, you want to find out who they really are and you enjoy discovering the littlest things that make them them. 

Why shouldn't it be like that with God too?  I think perhaps it can be if I rest first in knowing that I am fully known and that there is forever to get to know Him.

All that I know now is partial and incomplete, but then I will know everything completely, just as God now knows me completely.  
(1Corinthians 12:13)

When I look back, one of the things that has most impacted me is the realisation that God not only loves me but KNOWS me.  As I discovered it was possible to have a relationship with Him, that there really was a connection between me and the God of the Universe and that He did communicate with me, I experienced what it is to be KNOWN.  Better than by anyone else.  Better than I even know myself.  You can read more about that in My Ultimate Makeover.  

David knew the feeling.  He talks about it in Psalm 139.  He says the security and joy of this being known 'is too wonderful' .

It is an extraordinary thing to be fully known and something we can never experience outside of God. 

There is a kind of fashion for vulnerability.  We are encouraged by lots of voices to open up with other women because it will enhance our friendships with them.  But other people can feel dangerous.  They don't mean to but they misunderstand us. They read us wrong. 

Maybe they don't try to know us.  Or maybe they do it on purpose - they choose to see only what they want to see and then are critical of it.

However open we are, they will never really know us because we often don't actually know ourselves.  

Against that, it is very reassuring that there is one Person by whom we are fully known.  We don't have to try to let God know us or try to know ourselves or to know Him.  Instead, getting to know Him, and other people for that matter, can be an adventure as we rest in being known.

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Other reads about our desire to be known and understood and finding security in being known by God:

Most often profound sentences keep company with an awful lot of ordinary ones.  Not in this post by Ann Voskamp.  Profound sits side by side with so much profound but for me this sentence stands out against the rest and has stayed in my mind for days: 

Sharon Hodde Miller quotes Dallas Willard as she talks about doing work and no one understanding what you're doing.

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This post is the final part of #imperfectweek here and at mirrormakeover.org.  Catch up and there's still time to enter the GIVEAWAY.

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