Is there a connection between being known by God and knowing Him?
After a recent “Dare to Be Still” retreat, a participant remarked, “I’ve never been in a group more open and vulnerable, especially, since most of us didn’t know each other. I’m more used to fellowship with people who live surrounded by white picket fences.”
The retreat women had spent a day alone with the Lord – seeking Him and baring their souls to Him, then sharing with one another. There is a kind of raw honesty that can happen in the presence of the Creator, especially if we come to know how much He loves us, despite all He knows about us.
You have searched me, Lord, and You know me.
You know when I sit and when I rise;
You perceive my thoughts from afar. You discern my going out and my lying down; You are familiar with all my ways.
This same God who knows everything about us, everything, also loves us with no limits:
“ I am convinced that nothing can ever
separate us from God’s love…”
We could stop there. We could pause and reflect on all we imagine could come between God and us – injustice, personal pain and disappointment, feeling alone, and our own shortcomings. But God immediately steps in to confront the lies….
“Neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither our fears for today
nor our worries about tomorrow – not even the powers of hell can separate us from God’s love. No power in the sky above or in the earth below – indeed, nothing in all creation will ever be able to separate us from the love of God that is revealed in Jesus Christ our Lord.”
Here’s the truth: God knows you AND He loves you.
If you have lived a life without love, especially in those critical foundational years, believing God’s love is different than what you experienced can be a battle worth fighting.
Perhaps accepting the reality of God’s love isn’t where you stumble in your faith.
I’m just wondering - - please think with me for a minute about this - - I’m wondering if the place of our deepest pain or weakness is exactly the place God will become the most real to us personally.
I reflect back on my recent study of Hagar, the maidservant of Sarah who was used and then set aside. Desperate and alone in the desert, God revealed to her an incredible truth – He saw her. When no one else seemed to notice her pain or her humanity, God saw her. And then, amazingly, this same forgotten one is the first person to name God. And her name for the Almighty?
El Roi – the God Who Sees
In her humiliating moment of deepest alone – she named God. Genesis 16:13-14 reveals this most intimate moment of revelation:
“She (Hagar) said, ‘You are the God who sees me.”
She also said “Have I truly seen the One who sees me?”
Hagar had lived in the pain of being unseen. And God came to show her the opposite – HE SEES HER. The moment is breathtaking – even for those of us living many generations later. I’m so grateful this woman was the first person to give our great God a name. In her story we see her greatest fear met His great reality. God saw her!
And God sees YOU.
Pull up a chair and be still:
How does knowing God sees YOU change a difficult situation in your life today?