Welcome back to Pastor Jules' Song Corner! Sorry for the break we had in July, it was quite the busy month! Well, without further ado, let's look at a new song this week. This song is one that is near and dear to me, and has been a companion and a comfort through a lot of tumult throughout my life. This song is called "Known & Loved," by Joel Ansett.
“To love at all is to be vulnerable. Love anything and your heart will be wrung and possibly broken. If you want to make sure of keeping it intact you must give it to no one, not even an animal. Wrap it carefully round with hobbies and little luxuries; avoid all entanglements. Lock it up safe in the casket or coffin of your selfishness. But in that casket, safe, dark, motionless, airless, it will change. It will not be broken; it will become unbreakable, impenetrable, irredeemable. To love is to be vulnerable.”
Loving and being loved is terrifying. To allow yourself to be loved, you have to allow yourself to be known. And even more horrifying, to be truly loved, you must be truly known--the wonderful parts of you, your greatest triumphs and achievements, or the darkest sins that you'd wish no one would ever know. And always, to reveal yourself so openly to someone, is to run the risk that they will reject what they see, to run the risk that instead of loving you by the knowing of you, they will put you at arm's length, they will drop you, or they will leave you. But to be known, and accepted, and loved, is to be at home. It is a refuge, it is a safety, it is the greatest comfort. It is a home.
But we cannot be fully known by any person, for we do not even fully know ourselves. John Piper shared once, "Why do you think the psalmist in Psalm 19:12 prays, “Declare me innocent from hidden faults”? It’s because his brain is just so convoluted and so layered, that there are things tucked down in there. No matter how he claws with introspection at himself, he never knows himself completely. But we long to know ourselves." We are mysteries to ourselves, and even deeper mysteries to one another.
For all these reasons, and more, God's omniscience, combined with His infinite love for us, His children, is one of the most comforting aspects of His character we can hold on to. The Lord has searched us and known us, as Psalm 139 reminds us. "You know when I sit down and when I rise up; You understand my thought from afar. You scrutinize my path and my lying down, and are intimately acquainted with all my ways. Even before there is a word on my tongue, behold, O Lord, You know it all. You have enclosed me behind and before, and laid Your hand upon me."
God Himself knows everything there is to know about you, "You’ve never had a feeling, you’ve never had a thought, you’ve never done a deed, there’s not been a twitch in your brain or in your heart or in your body, that he hasn’t known fully and completely — vastly more fully than you know." And despite knowing so much about you, God loves you more fully than anyone else is even capable of loving you.
This is why no matter where our lives may take us: new jobs, losing loved ones, broken friendships, moving from state-to-state, no matter what changes take place, no matter how alone we actually or feel we are, we forever have a refuge. We have a home, a home that is secure beyond our circumstances, provided through a love that will not and cannot ever let us go. A love that knows exactly who we are, but will not forsake us. "For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord."
With and through Christ, we are fully known and fully loved--we can lay ourselves bare, we can approach Him with every hurt, with every fear, with every triumph, with every desire, and He will never reject us. Through Christ, we are valued by our heavenly Father as much as His own Son, and through Christ, we will be safely led home.
"He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High
Will abide in the shadow of the Almighty.
I will say to the Lord, “My refuge and my fortress,
My God, in whom I trust!”
For it is He who delivers you from the snare of the trapper
And from the deadly pestilence.
He will cover you with His pinions,
And under His wings you may seek refuge;
His faithfulness is a shield and bulwark."