"Don't you know me ... even after I have been among you such a long time?"
Jesus asked the age-old question of Philip in the book of the Apostle John (John 14:9), but the way the query of truth resonated in its quest of probing my soul, it was as if the Savior had asked the heart searching interrogation directly to me this morning. The words popped off the page and stabbed the place in my heart that needed convicting. The particular passage was a re-read on my journey through the New Testament; familiar words that speak volumes, taking on a voice of their own with each new round. This habit of daily spending time in the Word and prayer, nearly twenty years now of a quiet corner with a cup of coffee and a worn version of Scripture, comes down to this question: Don't I know Jesus? Even after all this time?
Philip had asked for a clearer revelation. One clearer than physically walking, talking, living and doing life with the flesh and blood Jesus. As I read the account, I wondered if he had witnessed the Pharisees asking this same question, or heard Jesus' response to them. I wondered at Jesus' presumably shaking head, the hurt, the deep pain of doubt as, again, one of His own stood before him wondering if He was telling the truth.
I saw myself.
I saw my doubt.
I saw my petty requests for a clearer revelation, maybe the skies parting and a glimpse of Heaven, then I could live the rest of my life believing beyond a doubt and would get off my keester and commit my whole being, laziness and all, to being poured out as a fragrant offering to whatever the Lord asked of me. Then I wouldn't grumble or complain about the paths my Maker had wisely designed for my existence. I would happily suffer whatever was necessary for the sake of the gospel to resound loudly through my life, for the sake of the glory of God, for the anticipation of seeing His face on That Day, on hearing the longed for words, "Well done, good and faithful servant." Yes, I had profoundly decided, a glimpse of the eternity where my son now resides would settle it all for me.
But then came the words... "Don't you know Me?"
Yes, I know you, Lord. You are the One who allowed me to see my son's body lying on that emergency room gurney and to praise you for it. The One who carried me through those anguishing first days of grief with an enormous outpouring of grace, a grace so thickly poured out that it could be felt, a grace that cushioned and comforted and baffled. The One who has shown me where I am with you. The One who is proving my hearts true desire. I know You.
You said that you wouldn't leave me. You said that you would send a Comforter. You said that your Word was you; that your Word was enough to sustain us to know you until we see you face to face. You said that my sorrow now would turn to rejoicing. You said that it is an honor to suffer alongside of you. You said that you are coming soon. You said that these trials are less than nothing compared to the glory that will be revealed. You said that I can trust you. You said to ask for anything in your name, and You would do it.
I ask, Lord, that Your will would be done. That Your name would be high and lifted up. That I would become less as You become more. I pray that You would be glorified and that the personal cost to my temporary life would be my least concern. I pray that You would continue to give me the eyes to see the worth of dieing to self in order to live for You, the heart to trust, and the ability to go forth proclaiming the good news so that the captives might be set free. I pray that You would get all the glory in it.