“But now that you have come to know God, or rather to be known by God, how can you turn back again to the weak and worthless elementary principles of the world, whose slaves you want to be once more?” Galatians 4:9
“Pray that I would find comfort in being known by God.”
My mentor at the time texted me that morning, asking for an update on life and how she could be praying for me during the upcoming week. Thankful that someone genuinely wanted to know how I was doing, I took full advantage of the opportunity and quickly wrote out a considerably lengthy reply, sparing no detail and boldly asking for prayer on a number of different things I was facing. I hit send and then re-read what I had said.
Topics such as work, school, and rest had the expected prayers tied to them–perseverance, perspective, and priority (thank you, junior high english class for teaching me the beauty of alliteration). And then hello, request from left field. I don’t think I have ever asked for comfort to come from being known by God.
It had been several months since a friend had hurt me deeply, so I was shocked that my response to “how’s your heart?” did not have the same hope-filled answers that I expressed in the preceding weeks. My heart was hurting again. I was regressing. I felt as if I had drawn the Candy Land card that sent me back to the very first purple square.
Desperately trying to put words to the sudden return of the ache, I saw my heart unfold: I missed the familiarity. I missed the understanding. I missed being known. Maybe you can relate.
“I felt known. Yes, God knows me best, but it was refreshing to have another person with me. Pray that I would find comfort in being known by God. And pray that for [Friend] too.”
First of all, I want to say that there is nothing wrong with wanting to be known by someone else. In fact, it’s Biblical to live in community with other Believers!
“And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, not neglecting to meet together, as in the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near.” Hebrews 10:24-25
“If one member suffers, all suffer together; if one member is honored all rejoice together. Now you are the body of Christ and individually members of it.” 1 Corinthians 12:26-27
“Bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ.” Galatians 6:2
A pastor at my church always says that the purpose of the Body is to multiply joys and divide sorrows. I love it. Paul, the author of Romans, instructs the Church to “Rejoice with those who rejoice, weep with those who weep.” (Romans 12:15) Rich beauty emanates from a life lived alongside other people. We should be known by other Believers, but we should be first and foremost run (really sprint) to being known by God Himself.
There is a reason God is called the Author of Life.
I love how David cries out to God in Psalm 139:13 saying, “For you formed my inward parts; you knitted me together in my mother’s womb.” (Emphasis mine.) God Himself formed me. He was there from the instant I came into being, and He hasn’t gone anywhere.
In that same Psalm, David praises God for His presence:
“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. Such knowledge is too wonderful for me; it is high; I cannot attain it. Where shall I go from your Spirit? Or where shall I flee from your presence?” (Psalm 139:1-7)
I read those verses and am overcome by the nearness of the Lord. He knows the depths of my heart, and even comes with me to those deep dark places. Yet He still calls me beloved.
And then Galatians 4:9: “But now that you have come to know God, or rather to be known by God, how can you turn back again to the weak and worthless elementary principles of the world, whose slaves you want to be once more?”
Where/what/who are you running back to?
When is the last time you cried out to God?
Where are you searching to be known?
I am praying that we find comfort in being known by God.
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