Two weeks from today, God willing, I will turn 70. And this summer, again God willing, Janet and I will celebrate 50 years of marriage. Or, as a friend of mine said, Janet and I will have been married 100 years – 50 for her and 50 for me!
We were married when we were 20, but we have actually known each other much longer than that – since we were 5 or 6 years old. So, we are working on about 65 years of being familiar with one another and our respective families. We grew up together in the same neighborhood and our parents were best friends. I guess you could say that we have known each other pretty much since the beginning.
Several days ago, Janet and I had a conversation about our similarities and how we can pretty much determine what the other one is thinking at any point in time. I can go look at an open house and know instantly whether or not it would appeal to her. In fact, when we moved to Indiana back in 1982, I actually committed us to a house before Janet even saw it! She really liked it as well and we went ahead with the closing. To be sure, I could do the same thing today – and so could Janet. We just know each other so well that we know the tastes and preferences of the other.
I can look at a rack of Hallmark cards and know right away which ones she would like. Or look at a menu and know what Janet will order – or walk through a furniture store and be able to pick out her favorite things. The same thing goes for Christmas decorations, clothing, cars and just about anything else that we purchase for our home.
In fact, being so well known by each other is really one of the most comfortable parts of our marriage – and Janet would agree. There is an undeniable comfort and familiarity about having been with someone so long that you can almost guarantee what they will do in any particular situation.
But this goes far beyond just predicting behavior – it includes personal preferences in almost every walk of life. It’s very comforting. Of course, I can say this because of the length of time that we have been together – after all, that’s the best way to get to know someone well – spend quality time together
Come to think of it, that’s what God wants from us. He created us and knew every day of our lives and every hair on our heads before we were even born. And while God knows us and loves us beyond measure, as humans we must invest time to with God to get to know him in a deeper way. That’s the reason that I went to seminary – to get to know the One who created me.
In all honesty, I was driven to my knees in my pursuit of God. It became clear to me that my ideas on life weren’t working – so I made the conscious decision to try it God’s way… and you know what? My plan was small by comparison to what God has done in my life and helped me to achieve the purpose that I was created for.
Being on an intimate basis with God is the most gratifying thing that a person can achieve. But that doesn’t happen overnight. It comes from years of walking with God, getting to understand Him, at least to the best of our human ability. And we know from the Scripture that God already knows us.
Our verse for tonight highlights the fact that God knows us. The apostle Paul affirms this in his first letter to the Corinthians. Paul tells us, in 1 Corinthians 8:3, “But the man who loves God is known by God.”
My encouragement this evening is that God wants us to spend time with Him and to invest in a deeper relationship with Him. My prayer is that each of us should harbor a desire to be fully known by God. Have a great day in the Lord, grace and peace…