I’m the third born (out of eight) in my family, but I’m a quintessential middle child. 😉 I like to tell people that the first time I introduced myself to a stranger was when I was fifteen. It could have happened before that, but this time was the first successful and not extremely mentally painful time I can remember. 😉
I’m something of an introvert, but that doesn’t mean I don’t like being around people. I’d rather observe than talk, though. That has changed some, but when I was a young child/teenager, it could be a little extreme. XD I had a pretty good cloak of invisibility, but I never wanted to miss out on anything.
My oldest sister is really capable and always has interesting things to say. My next sister is hilarious and creative. After me is my only brother–which is an automatic icebreaker for him whenever he meets new people. XD Four more sisters after that, cute and funny with the charm of your average little kid.
I was forgotten and good with it.
I still remember how it startled and pleased I was when someone would speak to me directly and refer to me by name. They knew me! More than just a kid ghosting around in the back and smiling at other people’s jokes.
It’s funny what names are. They’re more than just a label–they’re connected to our personalities, our purposes, and the deepest part of ourselves that wants to be known.
That’s probably why this particular Scripture verse has always been special to me.
“‘He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. To him who overcomes I will give some of the hidden manna to eat. And I will give him a white stone, and on the stone a new name written which no one knows except him who receives it.'” (Revelation 2:17, NKJV)
A special name, straight from my Father, that only He and I know! A relationship so wonderfully close that He knows everything about me, even things no one else knows. 😉 This is already very true, for you and me both if we have a relationship with God, because the Creator Who knows the names of every star, every animal, every bird, and yes, every person He has made knows our names. ❤ And it will only become truer when we meet Him face to face.
I have since learned that in order to know and be known by people, I have to build relationships with them. After that first stumbling introduction to my friend Es, I have made many more friends and am so blessed by their friendship. (I still choke at in-person introductions, but I’m getting better. 😉 )
It’s the same way with God. He has created us, so He does know of our existence, but does He really know us?
Take a look at this frightening Scripture.
“‘Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven. Many will say to Me in that day, ‘Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name, cast out demons in Your name, and done many wonders in Your name?’ And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness!’” (Matthew 7:21-23, NKJV)
A relationship is more than just a meeting, more than just an introduction. Build your relationship with God.
Do you know Christ, and are you known by Him?
P.S. I highly recommend reading C. S. Lewis’s sermon “The Weight of Glory”. It wonderfully handles this topic of the longing in every human heart to be known by God.