“TO KNOW GOD AND TO BE KNOWN BY GOD THIS ALONE IS LIFE”, the weather faded blue and yellow chalk letters are barely visible against the dull red canvas they were drawn on almost three years ago. It was the summer of 2010 when I wrote those words along the top of the hollow brick wall surrounding our back yard. At the time, it was just for the sake of filling in the brightly colored collection of chalk drawings that revealed the innermost thoughts of my children as they, along with my wife, succeeded at brightening up our otherwise dull backyard setting with every color of the rainbow. It later became a message of truth to every visitor, and a daily reminder to us as a family, of what mattered most.
As time went by, the bright colorful images and letters began to fade until little more remained of the great mural but outlines and spots masquerading as plain white fragmented memories. And as the images faded, so did the ideology. And as we, as a family, began to endure the same storms, the same winds and rains that bled that chalk of all of its vibrant colors, we too became bland, uninspired, and, as a result, uninspiring. Sure, on the outside remained the outline of who we were, both as individuals and as a family, but just like the chalk on the wall, all of the life had been drained from us. I share this not to inspire a sense of melancholy, but rather as a testimony to God’s immeasurable patience, His immeasurable love.
You see, through all of the trials, all of the loss, the pain, the deceit, division, sickness, and unavoidable sorrows, here we are. Like a ship tossed about the mighty waters of a storm torn ocean, when all seems lost and no hope of survival exists, when you have done all you can fathom and there is nothing left of you but the ability to let go.
Eventually the storm will pass. You wake up and the sun is shining. You’re dirty, bruised, and you’ve got a heck of a headache, but there you are. Alive and afloat. And up ahead, unmoved and undaunted by the worst storms nature can conjure, in all its majestic glory, stands the Lighthouse. Right where it’s always been. Watching over you, guiding you, leading you home.
Although faded and weather worn, the message on that hollow brick wall is still just as clear as the day it was written.
There’s an old saying, “to know him is to love him”, and if that statement doesn’t define Jesus, it defines no one. To know God, is to love God, and to love God is to know God. There is no greater commandment. And there is no greater peace that a man can have in this life, no greater shield against whatever may come, no greater salve to sooth whatever has passed, and no greater assurance of glory—than to be known by God.
Dear reader, in closing, this is my prayer for you. If you leave here with only one recollection of these writings, may it be this:
“TO KNOW GOD AND TO BE KNOWN BY GOD THIS ALONE IS LIFE”