I have had some hard things happen in my life: I’ve lived with people who struggled with addiction. If you’ve been there, you know how comprehensive that problem can be. I’ve suffered a miscarriage at 20 weeks, halfway through a pregnancy, losing the only son I’ve ever known. I’ve lived through very lean years and significant financial loss. I’ve experienced the daily struggles of a hard marriage that eventually ended in divorce. I’ve made it through court hearings and custody battles. I’m dealing with teenage angst times four. And, praise God, we’ve all survived more than one attempted suicide in our family.
And while your life probably looks different than mine, I’m guessing that you’ve had some hard stuff happen too.
During many of my life struggles I’ve compared myself to the happy people I knew who grew up in Christian homes, had good marriages, obedient kids and successful jobs, who didn’t really seem to really suffer much or struggle financially or relationally.
And compared to them, I used to think I drew the short straw in life. You know what I mean?
I thought for some reason God gave me a harder road to walk with more struggles and heartache than the average bear.
Maybe it was because I deserved it.
Maybe it was because I lacked faith.
Maybe it was because I was so strong that I could handle it.
Maybe it was all that unconfessed sin in my life that I thought I had confessed, but was still out there wreaking havoc.
After awhile it really didn’t matter anymore. It was just hard and made me feel somehow inferior.
But that was before I learned the way of authenticity and this truth:
OUR NEED for God DETERMINES OUR KNOWLEDGE of God.
It’s our need for God seen most clearly through the suffering in our lives—the stuff that makes us desperate for God—that will determine how well we will know God.
God wants us to know Him in a very personal and intimate way just as He knows us. That’s why Jesus came and offered us real life: Now this is eternal life: that they know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom you have sent. John 17:3
But we will only get to know God, when we need Him or admit that we need Him. Which is why I love authenticity and vulnerability so much because they are the gateways to our need and knowledge of God. When we get honest about the state of our lives and stop trying to hide our struggles, we can start to experience our need for Him and that need will lead into a deeper knowledge and relationship with our God.
Because of all the struggles in my life I have a significant need for God, and because of that need, I have a depth of relationship with Jesus that I would have never known otherwise.
And you know what? Instead of feeling like I drew the short straw in life, I now believe that I am actually one of the lucky ones. Maybe you are too.
How has your need led you to a deeper knowledge of God?