I rarely spoke during class in high school. If I wasn’t talking to one of my very few close friends, my nose was buried in a book. Why? Not because I didn’t like anyone else, as everyone probably assumed. But because I was extremely shy and far more insecure than I would like to admit. It took me a long time to get to know someone well enough to be myself around them.
So there I would sit. Alone with my nose in a book in a noisy classroom full of students. Longing to be known so that I could feel comfortable enough to participate in the jokes and conversations around me. Longing for someone to dig deep enough to get to know the real me.
Christmas is around the corner, and for many it’s been a hard year. An isolating year, perhaps. Maybe your friend or family member is sick or passed away and you’re struggling just to go through the motions of life. Maybe you feel like you have no one to be real with because the people in your life (and you, perhaps) are on edge. Maybe life is going great, but you’re so busy doing all the December things that conversation with others never goes deeper than surface level. You don’t feel seen. You don’t feel known.
It’s been a challenging year, and part of keeping a healthy frame of mind means being in relationship with others. We were designed for relationship, and as wonderful as it is to have great friends and family, even they can’t fulfill our deepest longing to be known.
Only Jesus can do that. And boy, am I thankful. Having been a Christian all my life and having leaned on Jesus more times than I can count, it makes me sad to think of people not having that security and encouragement in their lives. Being known and loved by God himself is a great privilege of the Christ-follower. When no one understands, he does. When we feel all alone, we’re not. When we’re most in need, he’s there. That’s good news if you ask me.
If you don’t yet have this – the Relationship of all Relationships – it’s easy to get there. Simply go to him. He’s hoping you will. Try praying something like this:
“Jesus, I want to be known by you. Life is hard and I need you with me. Forgive me for living apart from you for so long. I give you my heart and my life. Thank you for loving me, saving me, and being with me always. Amen.”
And if you still need convinced or reminded that God himself knows and loves you, this is the way Psalm 139:1-6 puts it:
“Oh Lord, you have searched me and known me. You know when I sit down and when I rise up; you discern my thoughts from far away. You search out my path and my lying down, and are acquainted with all my ways. Even before a word is on my tongue, O Lord, you know it completely. You hem me in, behind and before, and lay your hand upon me. Such knowledge is too wonderful for me; it is so high that I cannot attain it.”
In God’s presence, we don’t have to bury our nose in a book due to insecurity. We are already loved, accepted, and known by him. We’re free to openly share conversation, sorrows, fears, and even laughter and jokes with him.
This Christmas season, I challenge us all to practice drawing near to the only One who will ever truly know us. The One who says, in John 14:27, “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. I do not give as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled, and do not be afraid.” Let’s be deliberate to open ourselves up to the One who drew so near, he physically came down to earth from heaven to show us his sacrificial love in a radical way.
Have a blessed Christmas, and I would love to hear in the comments specific ways you like to focus on Jesus during the busy Christmas season. Christ-centered Christmas music is one of my favorite ways! (And if you enjoy cozy Christian fiction, hop on over to my Books/Extras page to find out more about my new Christmas book!)