We may not go about trying to get attention the way my friend’s baby did. We’re far too sophisticated to make grunting noises at friends and family to draw their eyes toward us...or are we? I can think of some ways I’ve grunted to get attention. Maybe we don’t make actual guttural sounds, but I think we’ve all sought the gaze of others around us to help satisfy that longing to be seen, to be known, to be assured of their love. (How many times have you checked the likes on your last Facebook post?) All it takes is a quick look at social media to see how far some people will go to gain the attention of others.
Why do we crave to be seen, known, and loved? I think we can find the answer in the interchange between my friend and her son. God designed a baby to desire the gaze of his mother because it’s in his mother’s face that he finds the love of the one who knows and loves him no matter what. God has designed each one of us to desire the gaze of our Father, the One who knows us completely and loves us unconditionally.
King David was a man who had the attention of a kingdom of people who loved him. Yet, he struggled with moments of despair and feelings of desperate loneliness. We see this in Psalm 86, where he cried out in verses 1-5,
“Bow down Your ear, O LORD, hear me; for I am poor and needy. Preserve my life, for I am holy; You are my God; save Your servant who trusts in You! Be merciful to me, O Lord, for I cry to You all day long. Rejoice the soul of Your servant, for to You, O Lord, I lift up my soul. For You, Lord, are good, and ready to forgive, and abundant in mercy to all those who call upon You.”
God answered David, allowing Him to understand His great love.
In Psalm 139 David shared his realization of the way God sees, knows, and loves His children. In verses 1-3, he says,
“O LORD, You have searched me and known me. You know my sitting down and my rising up; You understand my thought afar off, You comprehend my path and my lying down, and are acquainted with all my ways. For there is not a word on my tongue, but behold, O LORD, You know it altogether.”
“How precious are Your thoughts to me, O God! How great is the sum of them! If I should count them, they would be more in number than the sand; when I awake, I am still with You.”
There is not a moment when He forgets us. He is never too busy to look our way. We never have to fear that He does not see or know us.
And, there is no greater expression of love we could ever hope to receive than this:
“For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life” ( John 3:16).
I hope these truths bring a smile to your face just like the one on the face of my friend’s baby boy.
What does it mean to you to be seen, known, and loved by God?
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