The Comfort of Being Known: Our Kids Need It. We Need It.

People will disappoint us because people can’t fulfill every need we have. There is only One who knows us and being known can be such a comfort.

Great is our Lord and mighty in power; his understanding has no limit.
(Psalm 147:5)

The impacts of COVID linger.  Some are realized, others carefully hidden. Counselors are overwhelmed and in short supply. Having a mental health issue has become unfortunately common and often shame hides the need for help. Kids are confused. The struggle to fit in or to succeed has become overly significant. Our kids feel they are too fat, too skinny, too short, too tall. Ugly. The longing to be accepted is a daily reality.

We were made for relationships- a family, a community. Creation sprang forth from a family: the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit (Genesis 1:26). Whether we are eight or eighty we long to be known and accepted. We need the assurance of being known by our heavenly Father and by a few close friends.

But this might feel scary. Why?

In our relationship with God we may think:

If He really knew what I’ve thought or done, He would not accept me.

And yet, David says “You have searched me, Lord and you know me” (Psalm 139:1).

Or we fear:

God can’t forgive me for that. My sin is just too awful.

When we say this what we are really saying is “My sin is greater than the sacrifice of your son on the cross. I need something more.” Can you imagine how much this must hurt the Father? 

John says, “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.”

In our longing for friendship we may feel:

No one really likes me. I’m not…

Underneath this misery is a focus on self. Accept me. Be my best friend.

Instead, God has called us to focus on others. To reach out to them. To take the initiative to know them and to love them.

My friend E has serious cancer, yet she spends her days caring for others- cooking, writing a note, or making a phone call. Of course, she has very sad days but what gets her through one day at a time is her focus on others.

The reality is that humans will disappoint us. We will be rejected. And we will hurt someone else. We are all sinful – selfish at our core. We have to guard against having unrealistic expectations for someone else. My spouse will let me down. I will let him down. Lots of forgiveness is needed in every relationship. There is always data missing in our perceptions of others. Behind that perfect Facebook or Instagram photo is a person with real disappointments.  No one has it all together. We cannot completely understand or know someone else. Only God can. It’s far too easy for us to look to another person to meet our needs that we should be looking to God for.

When I get down on myself or feel misunderstood or fearful or guilty, I remember:

“Great is our Lord and mighty in power; His understanding has no limit.” (Psalm 147:5)

God alone knows each one of us completely and understands us thoroughly.

In His Word

Read aloud Psalm 139:1-17 or Psalm 147:1-11 together with your family.

Ask each person to listen for a phrase that particularly speaks to them. Share your reflections.

In Your Life

Revisit Psalm 139:1-10. How do these words enable you to feel known by God?

Memorize Psalm 147:5. How might this verse encourage you or a child when you feel “no one understands me.”     

Ask: Who is someone each of us can reach out to today at school, on campus, in the neighborhood, or in our job? How might we love them?

We Recommend

Susan’s books, Risky Faith, Becoming Brave Enough to Trust the God who is Bigger than your World and The One Devotional, One Word, One Verse, One Thought for One Hundred Days. (an easy devotional for any age.) Two 12-year-olds in my neighborhood are using this in their devotional times and then meeting to share. This is enabling them to know God better and each other at a deeper level.

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