By Elizabeth Exley
July 26, 2006
"I want to know You. I want to hear Your voice. I want to know You more."
The lyrics that were singing me to sleep suddenly turned into a barrage of questions. What does it really mean to "know" You? I'd never thought of this. Why hadn't I thought of this? I read the Bible—does that help? Maybe. Prayer? Sure, if I actually took a second away from my narcissistic supplications ... How have I been a Christian for so long without ever even thinking about this question?!?! God, I'm so sorry. My mind started to wander—and then I got competitive. Do others know what it means to know You? Am I just a slow learner?
I racked my brain for some—any—answer. An analogy. A story from a friend of a friend. A miracle. And then it hit me: my husband.
My husband and I are about to celebrate our first anniversary. It's been an amazing year: nights on the couch watching bad-good TV, hiking, dancing, coffee shop hopping and, of course, learning about each other, which has been the most interesting—and sometimes most difficult—part of the year. I really, really, really, really want to learn about him, and he wants to learn about me.
We talk about it a lot. I call it "getting inside of him." For example, when we fight, I might say, "If I were inside of you, maybe your words would make sense."At times it works (not always). In non-fighting periods (which, thankfully, is the majority of our relationship), he might say, "I wish I could be inside of you so that I could understand your irrational fear of rubber bands." And sometimes, in periods of all-out sappiness, I just look at him and think, "If only I could be in his head and his heart and his feet and his history ..."
I want to be with him when he studied in China, walk with him through college, hear his laughter as a child, and know—really know—his dreams. I've heard his dreams, and I share many of them. But sometimes we aren't on the same page.
With other friends, I never worried when we weren't on the same page. I didn't expect to be on the same page. I didn't even know there was a page to be on. And it was the same with God. I thought being with Him, worshiping Him, reading the Bible and having fellowship with Him was knowing Him. But with my husband it's different. I not only want to be on the same page—I want to be the same page.
My friend Laura used to say that she wished she had a tiny version of her husband in her pocket so that he could be with her constantly. I wasn't married when she told me this, and I agreed it would be a great idea. In fact, it seemed like possibly the most romantic thing in the world. I think this is the way I always looked at God. I wanted Him in my pocket—to be my Companion, Savior and Friend. I wanted Him there for me. But did I ever really try to know Him?
There is a stark difference between being with and knowing someone. I always thought that by being with someone, I would eventually know them. Although it probably helps, I now realize they aren't the same.
Many of you probably already know this. And many people shake their heads sadly at my late blooming, or maybe you're saying a little prayer (which I appreciate greatly). But I envy you (in the non-sinful way). You've had the chance to spend years exploring the God that is larger and more awesome than anything in the universe. I want to know what that's like. I want to be there at the time of the crucifixion. I want to know what it felt like to create the sun and the sky. I want to see Jesus' face after performing miracles.
I feel like I have a new lease on life, a new perspective. I can finally say that I want to know God more and truly mean it. If there are any other non head-shaking, late-bloomers out there like me, this is for you. May God allow you to know Him more.