To Know Him Is to Love Him

By: Jenny Stricklin
“For this very reason, make every effort to add to your faith virtue; and to virtue, knowledge.”
2 Peter 1:5
I’d known him my whole life. I knew he was the youngest of three brothers. I knew where he went to church and school and who his best friends were. I knew he played guitar and lifeguarded at the pool. That he liked road trips and buffalo wings and wasn’t afraid to stand up for what was good.

I’d known him my whole life, but it wasn’t until my senior year in high school that I began to really know him.

It was a conscious choice, no doubt.  On his part at first, but the decision was mutual. There was one conversation, then another, and another. One date turned into many more. Love letters and phone calls got us through our long-distance engagement. Then came marriage and family and life together.
I’d known him my whole life. But those early years were just surface-level facts disconnected from firsthand experience. Looking back, I could have gone on knowing him without ever really knowing him.

Twenty years have passed since those teenage years. With time, effort, and a commitment to keep learning, I now have both a growing understanding of and a deep affection for my husband. I guess you could say it’s both a head and a heart thing.

I think we want this kind of closeness with God too - real relationship instead of secondhand familiarity. We don’t want to go on knowing Him without really knowing Him.
And He knows this. That’s why He made the first move. He opened the conversation. He shows us His heart and His ways through His Word. He knows that true intimacy requires insight. I’ve learned that insight takes intentionality.

Not every day will feel remarkable. We won’t always see progress. But if we press on, the cumulative effect of being with Him day after day and then year upon year will be significant.
Thirty-something years have passed since I started getting to know Him. We’ve long ago moved from fast facts to true friendship. The more I learn, the more I love. I guess you could say it’s both a head and a heart thing.  

Yes, I’ve known Him most of my life. And I really love what I know. But when it comes to knowing God, I suspect I’ve only just scratched the surface.
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