WIMD Pulse - April 2012
To Be Known
By Ruth Bolton, MD
I think many of us are called upon by our churches and community to speak on various topics. That is my assignment for this month at my church’s annual women’s retreat. It is always a challenge to think of what to say, or better yet, what God would like me to say. Because of our professional status, we are placed on a pedestal we probably shouldn’t be on and we often fall off. So what will impact the people I am sharing with? How can I get them closer to God and what matters for our short time on this earth?
Such is this devotion assignment - to share with you something that matters to you and God. My talk for my church is titled, “To Be Known.” It took me a long time to figure out what to say for the two keynote addresses. They chose the title and the theme for the weekend. They want me to talk about how to know God better, our friends (real friends) and ourselves. Big assignment, but as usual, I am learning more myself than I can ever share.
The first part about knowing God took me to Scripture. This is what separates us from non-Christians. They know about God, but we actually have a personal relationship with Him and are guided by an ever present Spirit. But “how” do we get to really know our Lord and God? I went to a verse I have adopted as a life’s verse, “Elijah went before the people and said, ‘How long will you waver between two opinions? If the LORD is God, follow him; but if Baal is God, follow him.’ But the people said nothing” (1 Kings 18:21, NIV 1984). God has given us a choice, but we need to respond. Once we say yes to Him, I think He makes Himself known to us. He speaks to us through His word, through others and even through situations in our lives. I can’t tell you how much I get from a morning (nights don’t work for me as well) spent in God’s word before I go to work or start my day. Why don’t I do it all the time?
My fear has always been that at the end of my life God will say to me, “But I never knew you.” I know we should live with reassurance of our salvation, but we’re medical professionals who mostly know how to earn our own way in life. Knowing God is easier than I think it is. It’s acknowledging that He is God and I just need to follow Him – PERIOD! God has outlined how we are to live and we have every self-help book I think we could ever need. Why do we wander from His love, His protection and His promise of an incredible eternity? David said to God in Psalm 139:1, “…you have searched me and you know me...” (NIV 1984). Isn’t God interesting? He gets to know us first before we even try to get to know Him. If God knows when I sit and when I rise and perceives my thoughts from afar, why don’t I give up on pretending and get real with God in a way to share everything intimate in my life and do everything in my power to know Him as well as He knows me? (Psalm 139:2-3). I would think He would have some insights for me on how to live differently. I used to spend a lot of time in Scripture trying to figure out the “how’s” of Scripture. For example, how do I get to know God? I know I am supposed to, but I can’t seem to figure it out.
I think I have finally realized that God is not trying to hide from me and not letting me in on how to have a more meaningful and deep relationship with Him. I find Him in nature and that is an incredible promise He has given us in Romans 1:20, “For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities – his eternal power and divine nature – have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that people are without excuse” (NIV 2011). There is nothing to me more powerful than seeing God in nature. I cannot deny a Creator when I see a beautiful bird or sunset. He is there in all His glory. Take time to find Him as He has already searched for (and found) you!