I walked into Starbucks this morning as is my typical routine. Before I even get to the register I am asked if I want my venti dark roast. “Yes, thanks!” As I walk up to it, the register is already waiting for me to scan my phone. I do. The young lady smiles, thanks me and then hands me the latest Starbucks card. They had all been waiting to give it to me. Now if you don’t know me, I collect Starbucks cards. Believe it or not, there is actually quite a community of people who do. I think they are cool pieces of pop art. Anyways, this card I was aware was coming out next week and I knew it before the employees did. I told them about it yesterday and so when they got their shipment this morning, they set one aside.
Now the point of all of this is how I felt. I felt warm, and thought of, and…KNOWN. Each of us hunger to be known.
God wired us to live in authentic relationship with others. To know and be known. I love the team at “my” Starbucks, but they don’t really know me. However, there are those who do and I cherish them.
Now to bring this to a deeper level, we need to find the joy of realizing we are known by our maker. Despite our built-in desire to be known, many of us expend great energy to run from the one who knows us best. I love Psalm 139! It is for the Christ-follower one of the most comforting passages. But to the one who has not welcomed the love of God into their lives it is haunting, and exhausting. Where can we run from God? Wherever we try to, He is there.
God knows the hairs on my head, bottles the tears I cry, calms the fears I give in to, and provides for all my needs. He has committed Himself to complete the work He has begun in me. He KNOWS me. And that gives me comfort, and security, and assurance, and hope, and peace, and freedom to dream and even risk and even fail.
But let’s come back from the depths a moment and get back to the level where we live with others. Sometimes we are tricked to believe that to be spiritually mature is to believe we only need to be known by God. To be super spiritual. God, however, reveals Himself so often through others. The little graces we receive, like the serendipitous gift of a Starbucks card, to the full on rescue and emotional comfort we can get from a shoulder to cry on. I see and experience God on display in the best of others.
It’s tempting to say that all of my greatest moments in life were the spiritual highs.
Yet as I look back, the list also includes times shared with others! And as I reflect on them, I am drawn to praise God and thank Him for all His “blessings. I realize that because He knows me, He has brought people into my life to give me joy, and challenges, and growth. Because He knows me, He brings others into my life that I might know Him.
What a great intertwined, interdependent, puzzle it all is!