Have you ever been loved thoroughly by someone in your life? Your mom, your dad, a brother or sister, your spouse, your grown child, a close close friend? Someone who knows you inside and out, knows your quirks and habits, knows your likes and dislikes. Being known is a driving force and a deep-seated desire for every human. Being known and loved is heaven on earth. It satisfies something deep inside, some nameless, inexpressible need.
I think about my mom, my sister, my daughter…these women know me and love me. My close friends, those I’m able to be my true self with, are a true blessing. There again, they meet a need that words can’t define. There’s a yawning, gaping cry within each of us that can only be filled by being seen, being known, being understood by someone else.
I’m often surprised by having that need met. At my age, and with my life experiences, I truly don’t expect it. I still need it, but I don’t expect that need to be met. God has blessed me with those in my life who truly do meet that need to be known. I’m thankful…beyond thankful actually. I treasure those who have been placed in my life who know me and love me. I pray that you, as you are reading this, have the image of someone in your mind who does the same for you.
But even those who are closest to me, those who I can completely and utterly relax with, can’t love me the way Jesus can. Sometimes those who typically fill that void in my life are busy, or they are dealing with their own gaping voids, or have a thousand and one things vying for their time and attention.
Sometimes there’s a need, a tone to that need, that no one on earth can meet. Sometimes there’s a deep wound, a throbbing ache that flares up and no amount of being loved on is going to touch it.
Those times need the touch of the Master. The One who came to bring us life, who came to heal the wounded, who came to set the prisoner free. The One who came to take upon Himself all our sins, faults, and failures. All our gaping needs, all our throbbing aches, all our seeping wounds.
No one loves like Jesus does.
I dealt with a trial last night and this morning, one that had the power to make me go backwards several steps, one that could, and tried to, make me hide again. I wanted to. I so dearly wanted to. I wanted to pull the blinds and curtains, lock the door and hide away from everyone and everything. Every doubt I’ve ever had, every fear I’ve battled, all came beating at the door of my heart this morning.
Failure kept me company, fear crowding in, with shame leading the pack. I can sometimes joke about the battles I’ve had, but to be honest I’m still a little raw from it. And in complete and utter awe at the love of my Jesus.
I talked to Him about what I was dealing with. I went to His word and truly did attempt to take every thought captive. I compared what I was thinking and feeling to what He says in His love letter to us. The problem with the doubts I had this morning, and ones that I know I’m not alone in, is that there’s just enough truth mixed in with the lie that it’s hard to differentiate. It’s hard to see past it. It’s hard to untangle it.
My battle this morning resulted in me telling myself that God was not the author of my shame, and that He never wanted me to hide, so I’d best get ready and head to church. It wasn’t that I was even truly considering staying home, but boy I wanted to. I wanted to hide. I knew that wasn’t what He wanted, and I do truly desire to obey.
I wanted to hide after I got there. I wanted to retreat mentally and emotionally, so that hopefully nothing would brush up against that wound. I did retreat for a time. We went through our normal routines, running through our praise and worship songs, practicing the choir song, and the whole time I was pretty much on autopilot.
Then God stepped in. Oh my mercy, what a loving Father we have.
See, I had shared with Jesus what I was battling this morning, but no one else. And He chose to use one of His dear daughters to directly speak to that wound, that doubt, that shame, that fear. She had no idea what the divine plan was, she was just sharing her heart. But she specifically and especially spoke to the doubts I had struggled with this morning.
The next song in the line up was “He Knows My Name.” Usually when we sing, I’m singing to or about my Jesus. This time, He sang to me.
I know your name.
He knows me. He knows every little thing about me. He knows where I struggle, where I fail. He knows where I fear and where I doubt. He knows my quirks and habits, He knows my habitual sins, my blind spots and my deceptions. He knows it all.
He knows my name. He knows every hair on my head, every freckle on my body. He knows every cell and every molecule that makes up my body.
And He loves me.
He spurred this dear daughter of His to speak audible words to me that I needed to hear. Words that soothed the throbbing wound. Words that silenced the doubts, that extinguished the burning shame.
He sang to me. He knows my name.
No one loves like Jesus does. No one heals like Jesus does. No one knows you like Jesus does. And He loves you.