Why knowing takes so much more

“I’m Andrew Christopher King.”

This is my son’s opening gambit in any conversation.  It’s a quick progression from there into what he considers all of the essential information about his life:

“I’m four.  When it was my birthday, all my friends came to my birthday party.  I’m strong.  I have big muscles.   I am the king  of Batman.  Batman is my favorite character.  I have three sisters.  Their names are Lauren, Catherine and Victoria.  My favorite colors are blue and red.  Lauren’s favorite color is purple and Catherine’s favorite color is yellow.  I am not a baby; I’m a kid.   I’m medium.”

Usually by this time, I’ve moved the conversation along and whatever random fellow-shopper  or cashier he has cornered in the grocery store just smiles sweetly as he finishes his autobiography.

These  listeners  still don’t know him, of course.  He’s the little  boy (the super adorable one) in the shopping cart who likes to talk about superheroes and his sisters.

But to know him, really know him, takes so much more.

This knowing and being known, this sharing deeply and listening well, this uncovering of hidden places, takes,  quite frankly, time.

Oh, how I want  to know Jesus.  That means time and also not being satisfied with the superficial

I let myself get sidetracked sometimes.  It’s so tempting to stop pressing in for more, maybe because of the rush and the speed of things, maybe because everything else and everyone else in life can be noisy and demanding of my attention and time and others need bits of me so much of the time.

So it’s easy, far too easy to relax into knowing about Him, but not to press in more to actually know Him.

I’m a good Christian girl, so I do all the good things:  Stock up on the essential facts and details . Fill up on the Bible knowledge and the Bible stories.  Check off the daily Bible reading plan and fill in the blanks in the Bible study workbook.  Take the sermon notes.

These are all the good things and doing good things is….good.

But there’s got to be more.

Hosea the prophet wrote:

“Come, let us return to the Lord.
For He has torn us, but He will heal us;
He has wounded us, but He will bandage us.
“He will revive us after two days;
He will raise us up on the third day,
That we may live before Him.
“So let us know, let us press on to know the Lord.
His going forth is as certain as the dawn;
And He will come to us like the rain,
Like the spring rain watering the earth” (Hosea 6:1-3 NASB). 

Let us know, let us press on to know the Lord.

It’s an effort, a decision, a pushing forward against adversity, a fight for faith, a discipline.  We choose to press on.

We don’t faint when it’s hard or when trouble thrashes at the foundations of our faith.

We don’t falter and trip up with weariness when we’re bogged down by the mundane (and oh how the daily can wear us right down and tire us completely out.)

We aren’t satisfied with what we know of Him already or how far He’s already brought us.

We don’t let sin and temptation grab our attention and set us off on a detour.

We press on to know Him.

And it comes not just from facts and figures, memorization and note-taking . It comes from getting up each day and walking that faith out in all those everyday moments before us.  In the thick of the afternoon busyness and the packing lunches and the cooking dinner, in the chores and in the conversations, in the minivan rides and the coffee with a friend.

It comes from not stalling and stagnating. I

t comes from letting go of all the legalism and stretching out to rest in the fullness of His grace.

It’s not all easy, of course.  There’s the wounding and the tearing sometimes.  Hosea wrote of Israel’s sin and the discipline they received because of it.  But they returned to Him and they knew God better because He stayed with them in the hard season and brought them to the place of healing and bandaging, of reviving and raising up.

Now they knew, truly knew, how steadfast and faithful God was, always there, certain as the dawn, steady as the coming rain.

And this is what the rain of His presence brings:  Refreshing for the dried out, parched, dehydrated parts of our soul.

And also this:  Abundant fruitfulness.

If I’m in the weary place, in the hard season, feeling emptied out, feeling like heaven is silent, then I return to Him.  I press on to know Him and I look for His rain.