One of my trademark sayings (so I have been told), is my regular use of the brilliant phrase “God Knows!” – Yes, I admit that it rolls off my tongue quite a lot and usually when I have unanswered questions on my mind. ☺♥☺
Who knows you? . . . I mean really knows you? Has that question provoked a slight awkward nervousness in your heart just now? Maybe it brings a calming sense of well-being and peace because you know you are loved unconditionally and completely? Possibly it challenges you to the core of who you are or aspire greatly to be? Well today God sent a lightning bolt (as real as the one about to flash again outside my window), a gunshot, a bow’s arrow straight into this heart of mine .. .. .. I was asked the same question.
God challenged me to look at the things my heart hungers and thirsts for. Some moments later, I answered Him. It came through a song. It came through painful realization. It came through the acknowledgement that ONLY one person can truly ‘know’ every single facet of me. Though I choose to share different parts of myself, my life, my thoughts, my desires, my dreams, my jokes, my writing, my cooking, my achievements, my longings, my laughter, my creativity, my love, my affections and my passions with people in varying degrees of intimacy, truly there is only ONE who really knows the real me. He knows the “me” with no barriers, no pretending, no masks, no hidden motives, no insecurities, no fears, no vulnerabilities or barriers. He loves me despite my weaknesses, sins, frailties, failures and vulnerable ways.
He jumps right into each day with me, longing to make me even better than the version of me I was yesterday. He proudly comes alongside me to help me in my attempts to improve on yesterday’s performances and choices, because He knows my heart truly longs to be the best me I can be for Him and those I do life with. He giggles at my childish jokes, and loves the unique traits He has given me – He calls into being every dream and desire that resides in my heart; He gently holds me when the storm rages and I have no solution for the circumstances my little boat sails through; His name is God. He whispers goodnight as the moon hangs in the midnight sky, with His promise to never leave my side; staying with me through every twist and turn the road may take. Nothing surprises Him, and nothing about me is hidden from His eyes. When I have days where I would rather run from Him and life seems to dare me to give up, He will still be there, here, beside me. He is ever present, He never slumbers or sleeps.
Hunger (whether physical or psychological) is not a game; it can lead people to do crazy and dangerously soul-destroying things. You may be quite familiar with your own “hunger games” and the cravings of your own heart. Maybe you don’t believe in God? .. .. .. but truth be told He believes in you. He created you with a void that only He can fill. He sees the amazing dormant potential in you, that awaits for His breath of life to create a new and amazing detour to the road you currently walk on – is there a hunger in your heart, even now, to be ‘known’ – truly known?
He sees you weep when you feel the floundering winds of change sweep you to a place where life is scary or hard to understand. He holds your arms up when you are tired or weary from the fight. He cheers you on when life is victorious and hugely rewarding. He is God and He does not miss one solitary moment of your life. Even in a crowded room, where you are surrounded my many, He does not miss one thing about you. He knows you, but He also loves you! Sure many others can touch your heart, occupy space there, impact you deeply and love you there.. .. .. but there is truly only ONE who can know every facet of your life, your mind, your thoughts and your soul – GOD! Wisdom tells us to choose carefully the ones we allow into our hearts, to select these special ones wisely and cautiously, but we are always better off the closer we walk with God.
Today this truth hit me like a bolt of lightning .. .. .. like a dart aimed for the bulls-eye, like a perfect 180 shot straight into the dart board of my heart. I’ve experienced a lightning bolt to my heart before, but this is not the time to share those stories – all I can say is that upon reading a challenging piece of text today, I realized that God was speaking loudly, directly, clearly and seriously into my heart, asking me “Denise, do you know that I know you? You are not one of the ‘unknown’, you are not forgotten or undiscovered by me – I see you” ~
Can I be honest here? Well, I will be anyway and hope that you too will be honest with your own heart. I really forgot that God knew me .. .. .. that He both wants to and desires to, and is delighted to know me! The God I sing to and speak daily to, this amazing God that I daily surrender my life to, knows me. WOW .. .. .. think about that: The God who flung stars into space, knows you. The One who has seen and will see everything about this Universe; the One who sees when you win or lose – knows you. He knows exactly how many hairs are on your head, how many tears you have cried, how many years you have lived, the breaths your life will amount to, the past, present and future for you – He knows your name!
Maybe the land of being “known” is already a land you frequent a lot, sharing glorious moments, hours and occasions of great joy and strength in His beautiful presence? but for some it is a land where they feel like an alien; hungering to be accepted unconditionally. Well, today I remind you, invite you, beseech you, to find a quiet place (like I have), to take a realistic look at the activities of your life – who do you do them for? Are these activities a reflection of the desperate hunger in your life for acceptance and love? God does not want your life to be one series of relationships, endeavours and “hunger games” after another, where you seek to fill your life with anything rather than emptiness. He wants to fill you with the greatest acceptance, love, favour and romance you could ever know.
Close your eyes, listen, He is already here. No more hunger games, no more running, no more pretending; It is time to experience the liberation of being known by Him, and in that place you will experience God loving what He knows about you; and making you the best you possible! =)
Then go and feed others – show them how being unconditionally loved by God satisfies beyond any other source!
Okay, I admit it, as I write this short story I am unashamedly nibbling away on a “Rocky Road Biscuit Brownie”, purchased today at a gorgeous health food/home food bakery store. I am guilty as charged for falling for the overwhelming temptation of a dark chocolate, marshmallow & biscuit temptation. As I was out on my morning run, I succumbed to its alluring ways…and moments later it sat in my running bag as my après-running treat! And hours later, that’s just what it is. However, let me add, it is accompanied by a strong and hot cup of organic Chinese green tea; so all is good! As I munched this delicious treat, I mused to myself at its interesting name.
I decided that really the only “Rocky Roads” we want in life, are of the chocolate variety (for me the dark chocolate) but if only life was as simple as a chocolate “Rocky Road”. For many of us it is paved with seasons of “rockiness”, when we would much rather a smooth surface!
“Rocky Road” started as a flavour of ice cream; described as that hard-to-resist combination of chocolate ice cream laced with chunks of nuts and marshmallows. William Dreyer came up with this cleverly named ice cream flavour way back in 1929, and it was, and still is, a best seller. Its popularity is probably why the chocolate-nut-marshmallow combination is now found in so many desserts too.
So, when you saw that the title of my story was “Rocky Road”, what did you think of? Was your first thought of a chocolate/marshmallow tray-bake combination or were you far more concerned with the “Rocky Road” that your life may be right now? Do you dream of days where there are less obstacles and far more blessings? If you do, then you are not alone. I promise!
May I interject with some raw honesty? As I sat writing this blog today, right at this moment my thoughts have been completely thrown asunder by the news of the death of a dear friend. We knew he was ill but never thought that he would leave us. So strikingly ironic that I should be writing about the “Rocky Roads” of life and then receive this news. Somehow it impacts the next part of my story even deeper. When life is rocky, we have a Master Helper who comes alongside us to carry our load. When our hearts ache for those we love, He gently wraps His great arms of compassion around us and helps us trust Him through the tears. When life falls apart at the seams, He somehow weaves the tapestry of His design and allows us to see just enough so as to have hope, even one day at a time.
And today as we grieve the loss of an amazing brother and friend Joseph Fitzgerald, we can know that though this road is rocky, and hard to understand there is a faithful God who sees our hearts and cares about our loss. Jesus wept remember!
So I guess all I can say is whatever season you are in, whether life is rocky or smooth, make sure you have the Master Weaver as your friend, for then no matter what the road may hold for you, there will always be a road map to look to and trust in. All I know at times is that “GOD KNOWS”, these are often the final words whispered from my tired lips as I close my eyes to sleep each night. And He does know!
Within a week of each other, two of my friends have gone home to Heaven far sooner than any of us would have thought possible. Both of them incredibly talented musically and vocally, in abundance! And as another dear friend (John Edwards) said today, “Now promoted to the choirs of Heaven…” That is a beautiful thought John!
But it’s hard today to grasp that we are saying goodbye to another gifted friend. Our loss is Heaven’s gain it is true, but what a wake-up call to make our lives count!
Forgive, love, live, laugh and make a difference; for none of us know what tomorrow holds! If you love someone let them know. Carpe Diem…SEIZE THE DAY!
Make things right with God and each other! Remember in Luke 24 v 32, ‘They said to one another, “Were not our hearts burning within us while He was speaking to us on the road, while He was explaining the Scriptures to us?’ ~ There is a Friend walking this “Rocky Road” with you, and that Friend is Jesus. Listen, He is speaking softly to your heart, as you walk along this road.
You may actually make someone’s “Rocky Road” a little bit more bearable simply by the love you share and the encouragement you give!
Oh I am also leaving you with the “Rocky Road” recipe. Make a tray-bake and share it with someone who needs some kindness on the rocky road of life…..