Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Knowing God: The Journey

I heard a statement the other day. A gentleman said, “I grew up believing in God without ever really knowing Him”. I understand what he was saying because I was raised in the church, called myself Christian, was very involved in church, and worked hard at avoiding those things that Christians don’t do –drugs, drinking, swearing, immorality. I look back and see that I didn’t really know the God that I served and professed to love.

There are 2 different perspectives that I have on “knowing God”. The first is the perspective of us only knowing God through what others have told us. Therefore we never truly have a personal revelation of who God is. The second perspective that I have is that getting to “know God’ is actually a life journey.

Back in the 80’s (a long time ago ) I fell in love with Dan Slater. We had grown up together. We knew each other’s families and friends. I knew who Dan was. As we dated, I started to know him more. What made him smile, what food he liked and disliked, and what his dreams were. On June 14th, 1986, I pledged my lifelong love and commitment to him. After we were married, I grew to know him more. I found out what he was like when he was tired, stressed, or sick. I learnt what made him feel happy, proud, and content. Did I know him more than when we were dating? Yes!

As the years went on, we had many life events. There was the birth of 4 children and the death of one son born too premature. Change of jobs, moving to Shell Lake, and building our home. Family vacations. Leaving job security and stepping out into full time ministry. Being broke and having money. There was the diagnosis of type 1 diabetes for our 9 year old son and the death of a parent. We have had the pain of having children lost and broken in the destruction of a sinful lifestyle and the glorious return of the prodigals. We rejoiced at the marriage of our first born. With each event, I have grown to know Dan more. I now know how he deals with sorrow and loss, joy and victories. I now know more than ever what he is thinking or what his choice will be with different things. This is all due to this journey of life we are on together.

I believe it is the same with “knowing God”. We know of Him, even believe He is God. Then one day we decide to commit our lives to Him. As we begin our journey of faith, we encounter different life events. If we pursue after Him, these events and situations will draw us closer to His heart and we will learn to know Him more. I don’t believe we will ever fully “know God”. He’s too big, too infinite for our human minds and emotions to understand. We can, however, grow to know Him more.

I know Him more than I did a year ago……..how about you? Oh how He longs for you to know Him!

- by Jennifer Slater