Friday, June 1, 2018
Philippians 3:10 I want to know Christ…
When our Pastor’s and Spouse’s Retreat ended, Denise and I drove to Madison to spend some time with our grandchildren (and their parents of course). Kylie was 4 months old at the time and I didn’t feel like I knew her. When we arrived, we picked her and her brother Caleb up from their other grandma’s house and had the whole afternoon together with them. I took Kylie on my lap and began to whisper into her ear and play with her, because I really wanted her to know me and I wanted to know her. I wanted to bond.
In a short time, she was gazing into my eyes as I played a little baby game with her, and then it happened – she giggled. Then, from a giggle she moved to laughing. I was overjoyed. All the issues of the world, all the issues of life and work, and yes, even all the memories of yesterday’s golf were gone and meant nothing compared to that one moment of intimacy with my granddaughter. I later discovered, while sharing the moment with my daughter, that she had not heard Kylie giggle yet. I felt really special.
That event caused me to consider how much time and energy I put into trying to know people, and what motivates me to either try harder or not invest in others at all. It is sad in our modern culture that we are so busy we invest very little effort in getting to really know people. But an even bigger problem is this – when we do invest in others, we are tempted to do it only for personal gain.
I know the temptation we all feel to meet people for the wrong reasons. I had the opportunity to meet H.B. London, the pastor to pastors for Focus on the Family Ministries. I shook hands with Dennis Swanberg, the Christian comedian. I know the thoughts that ran through my mind. The worst one was, “If I can say that I know him and that he knows me, that pushes the value of my life up a notch.” Fortunately, none of those thoughts were allowed to take root, and I simply thanked them for their ministry. Some people meet famous people so they can brag about it, because they somehow feel it elevates their social status. Their only claim to fame is that they claim to know someone of fame.
However, there is one relationship from which we gain value – the surpassing greatness of knowing Jesus Christ. If only we would put as much energy into knowing Jesus as we do into knowing people. If only the thrill of experiencing the giggles of God was as significant as the giggles of grandchildren. I am reminded of one of my favorite Bible verses about God’s response to our intimacy with Him. It is found in Zephaniah 3:17, and it says, The LORD your God is with you, he is mighty to save. He will take great delight in you, he will quiet you with his love, he will rejoice over you with singing.”
Imagine that – God takes great delight in our relationship, and he rejoices over us with singing. The word for rejoice that God uses to describe his response to us means to spin around under the influence of any violent emotion, that is, rejoice. I don’t know about you, but that sounds like dancing to me. When we seek to intimately know God, and let Him intimately know us, God dances with joy. He directs the choirs of heaven to sing their most joyous song and the volume crescendos to its loudest level, and God sings and dances with joy. I’ll bet he even giggles and laughs.
I want to know Christ that way. I want to use every minute of every day to get to know Him better. I want Him to have access to every part of my life. I want Him to know every emotion I feel and every thought I think. I want to be the baby on his lap. I want to gaze into His eyes and know that I am completely safe in His arms. I want Him to bounce me on His knee so I can giggle and laugh. I want to experience His laughter as He hears mine. I want to be so overwhelmed with the joy of His presence that I forget all my inhibitions and traditions and I dance with Him.
No matter what happens the rest of today, I’ve seen God dancing with delight because of me, and my heart is filled with joy. I got to know Him a little better today, and He got to know me. Nothing can match that. I’m beginning to understand more deeply the surpassing greatness of knowing Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord. All it takes is a decision to spend time with Him. Why not make that decision today?