My run always ends where the path runs into a field. I turn the corner every time and walk up a hill to my car. Usually my conversation with God has concluded by then. I slow down my breath, walk, get water and stretch, thankful for the time and the run and God speaking into my life.
On this particular day about a year ago, I was on the verge of tears the whole time since I was in the middle of something difficult. I thought I heard all I needed to hear, but God wasn’t done. And I didn’t shed all the tears needed yet. As my breathing slowed, my heart slowed with the thought,
“There is more to me than being a wife and mom.”
The exact circumstances do not matter at this point. When in your life have you felt like you, at your core, were more than your roles, more than what you currently do? When have you felt the gap? When have you sensed there is more?
God broke through and saw me there. I looked to Jesus in that moment. Jesus is so real and important to me. Scripture says he is the exact representation of God in heaven, the creator. A scene flashed in my mind, from the book of John in the New Testament of the Bible, in which Jesus was with Nathanael under the fig tree. Jesus saw him before he actually saw him. Jesus knew him before he actually knew him. Nathanael was astonished. So astonished that the encounter made him exclaim,
“Rabbi, you are the Son of God; You are the King of Israel.” (John 1:49)
After the scene flashed, I sensed Jesus move close to me and whisper,
“I do know. I know you are more than a wife and mom. I know. I see.”
Jesus knows me and sees me. Jesus knows you and sees you. He sees us ahead of time. He sees you before you see him. To be known and to be seen, are arguably two of the greatest needs of a human. Jesus meets them.
If you have never experienced God seeing you and knowing you, ask Jesus to reveal himself to you. A simple prayer, something like, “I want to see you, Jesus. Do you really see me and know me? I want to have an encounter with you. Show me whether you see me or not.” Make it your own words, what’s in you. And, wait, and see. Sometimes, God shows up in an instant, sometimes it takes a lot longer for us to see God. Deep in my spirit, I want you to know, the God of the Bible desires for you to know him.
Back to the story, astonishingly Jesus points Nathanael further, to even more. After Nathanael acknowledges Jesus is God, Jesus answers with this:
“Because I said to you, ‘I saw you under the fig tree,’ do you believe? You will see greater things than these. Truly, truly, I say to you, you will see heaven opened, and the angels of God ascending and descending on the Son of Man.” (John 1:50-51)
When I have experienced God seeing me, knowing me and loving me exactly the way I am, I am floored. I am overwhelmed with his knowing me. But, essentially, Jesus says even more greatness exists beyond the fact of the almighty God knowing individual humans personally and intimately. There is something even greater!
Nathanael, there is something even greater you will see. Jen, there is something even greater you will see. Fill in your name. _____, there is something even greater you will see.
And we, as Christ-followers and Spirit-carriers, are promised this. Jesus’ words later in John chapter 14 are,
“Truly, truly, I say to you, whoever believes in me will also do the works that I do; and greater works than these will he do, because I am going to the Father.”
Even now, as I type, I am challenged by his words-“whoever believes in me” and the person “will also do the works that I do.” Works like Jesus, wow.
Faith and works. Belief and action. What am I believing? What I am doing? What are you believing? What are you doing?
These questions lead us to other great questions for self-examination. It is good to ask ourselves about belief and action, convictions and trust. What are we truly thinking in these brains of ours? What is in our minds will bleed into our days. Do the color and the texture of our lives reflect Jesus?
If we are Christ-followers, Spirit-carriers, these questions can pierce our soul. We are called to live awake and attentive. This is not a call to get paralyzed in what we are not doing. This is not a call to drown in guilt because of our unbelief. Jesus calls us to consider what we are believing and what we are doing. When Jesus encountered people while he was here on earth, he altered their lives. His presence, his words, and his actions changed people. Are we ready to be changed? Do we need an encounter with him?
Jesus is powerfully gentle and convincing. Jesus’ call on our lives will affect us and the world.
Let us be renewed again and again. Let us be moved into action again and again for others. For his glory. We can’t go change the world until Jesus changes us. And I don’t know if we are willing to be changed, if we don’t know we are seen and known by him. Are you convinced Jesus sees you and knows you? If not, ask him. Are we willing? Are you willing?