Twenty years ago, I moved from New York City to a much smaller city in Florida. More of a small town, actually. I welcomed the fresh air, the slower pace and the improved quality of life.
But I also needed to make some adjustments...
- About a week after our move, after a particularly long day unpacking boxes, we tried getting a pizza delivered. Several phone calls later, we discovered nothing remained open after 10 p.m.
- The satellite post office near our home closed for lunch each day.
- I was late for church one morning because a cow stood in the road and a sheriff's deputy blocked the street with his car while we waited for the cow to move.
One of the biggest adjustments I had to make was in realizing I could not leave the house without running into someone I knew. Someone from church or from our neighborhood. Someone from the interdenominational Bible study I attended or from the nonprofit agency where I volunteered. The anonymity of living in a big city disappeared faster than a bag of M&M's at a chocoholic's convention.
But that was nothing compared to what I've experienced lately on the internet. Facebook seems to know exactly what ads fit my interests. One order on the Barnes & Noble website resulted in emails touting products geared to my interests. The website Spokeo.com contains detailed information about me and anyone for whom I might be searching.
Total strangers seem to know me very well.
To know and be known—truly known—is our deepest desire. Even the apostle Paul noted, "Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known" (1 Cor. 13:12, NIV).
God created us to know and be known. He created us to be intimately related to Him. He revealed Himself in His Word using a variety of names and attributes to help us know who He is and how He works. We learn from His Word that He is perfectly righteous and just, absolutely faithful and merciful, and truly trustworthy and holy. And because He is who He is, we can trust the most intimate facets of our life to Him. His Spirit resides in His children, and nothing surprises Him. He knows the ugliest details and loves us anyway.
When we're in a right relationship with the Lord, we'll have the confidence to be vulnerable and transparent in our relationships with others. To know and be known is a gift, not just with God, but with fellow travelers on the road of life.
If you're not as intimate with the Lord as you would like, what will you do about it?
Ava Pennington is a writer, speaker and Bible teacher. She writes for nationally circulated magazines and is published in 32 anthologies, including 25 "Chicken Soup for the Soul" books. She also authored Daily Reflections on the Names of God: A Devotional, endorsed by Kay Arthur. Learn more at avawrites.com.
This article originally appeared at avawrites.com.
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