In my home as a child, we always had what we needed but seldom an abundance of anything…except books. I always had a book to read and cherished the stories on those pages. If I have carried anything from my childhood over to my own children it is a love for reading. I read aloud to my “littles” before bed, especially with a variety of voices and a bit of drama.
Over the summer my son and I started reading the Ramona Quimby books. We are about to finish “Ramona the Pest” which tells of her antics in her first year of school. One chapter is titled “The Baddest Witch in the World”. She wears her Halloween costume to school complete with a scary rubbery mask. Ramona has a bit of trauma as she runs around the school yard in her witch attire. She realizes no one knew who she was. Her beloved teacher didn’t know her. Her costume was identical to many other children on the playground so even her mom didn’t know for sure which daughter belonged to her. What she was feeling was even more frightening than the mask itself. Ramona was not known.
I believe our culture suffers today because we don’t feel known. We don’t know who we are. We go through our day to day lives getting lost in the crowd and the mundane of our routines. We find ourselves searching for significance in more stuff, Netflix binges, and the next new Iphone. Attempting to fill the void of our unknown places with material objects which will be obsolete next week.
God wants to be known too. Kind of strange to think about isn’t it? The creator of the universe and of every living and breathing thing around me wants to be known by me. Knowing God doesn’t validate His existence, but knowing Him exemplifies my significance. Knowing God says that I have value. Knowing God shows that His plan for my life is greater than anything I could ever imagine.
At the beginning of 2019, I committed to reading through the Bible for the first time in my life. I can honestly tell you, from Genesis to the Old Testament prophets, God repeatedly says, “They will know that I am the Lord.” The Israelites were God’s chosen people. He gave them their significance. All God wanted of them was for His people to own up to their significance and know Him. The Israelites desperately tried to follow the rules, but too often found themselves turning away from God in the process. The Israelites had to know God first in order to feel known.
We have to know God in order to feel KNOWN.
Throughout the Bible, God tells us who we are in Him. In Ephesians 1:3-6 Paul writes:
“How blessed is God! And what a blessing he is! He’s the Father of our Master, Jesus Christ, and takes us to the high places of blessing in him. Long before he laid down the earth’s foundations, he had us in mind, had settled on us as the focus of his love, to be made whole and holy by his love. Long, long ago he decided to adopt us into his family through Jesus Christ. (What pleasure he took in planning this!) He wanted us to enter into the celebration of his lavish gift-giving by the hand of his beloved Son.” MSG
Friends, we were known by God before the creation of the world. We were on His mind and a part of his plan before the foundation was laid. We are the focus of His love. We can never know this, unless we get to know God. Unless we open the Bible and read of how we are known by him, we will never own up to the significance of being His children.
Don’t know where to begin? Open up the book of Ephesians. In its six chapters, Paul gives his readers a beautiful view of being chosen and known by God.