Utterly Realistic Love

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I have again been reading some of J.I. Packer’s Knowing God.  From the chapter titled Knowing and Being Known:

What matters supremely, therefore, is not, in the last analysis, the fact that I know God, but the larger fact which underlies it–the fact that he knows me.  I am graven on the palms of his hands.  I am never out of his mind.  All my knowledge of him depends on his sustained initiative in knowing me.  I know him because he first knew me, and continues to know me.  He knows me as a friend, one who loves me; and there is no moment when his eye is off me, or his attention distracted from me, and no moment, therefore, when his care falters.

This is momentous knowledge.  There is unspeakable comfort–the sort of comfort that energizes, be it said, not enervates–in knowing that God is constantly taking knowledge of me in love and watching over me for my good.  There is tremendous relief in knowing that his love to me is utterly realistic, based at every point on prior knowledge of the worst about me, so that no discovery now can disillusion him about me, in the way I am so often disillusioned about myself, and quench his determination to bless me.

There is, certainly, great cause for humility in the thought that he sees all the twisted things about me that my fellow humans do not see (and am I glad!), and that he sees more corruption in me than that which I see in myself (which, in all conscience, is enough).  There is, however, equally great incentive to worship and love God in the thought that, for some unfathomable reason, he wants me as his friend, and desires to be my friend, and has given his Son to die for me in order to realize this purpose.

And, clearly, there is nothing we can do to deserve God’s love.  I’ve always liked Kris Kristofferson’s song, Why Me Lord, but when he sings that phrase “…what have I ever done to deserve even one of the blessings I’ve known?” I think “Nothing. That is an impossibility. It is pure gift.”

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