The fact that God INTIMATELY knows me has, for me, always been a positive thing . . .Perhaps that means I need a better understanding of God and His holiness and to become more aware of how many times I disappoint him (I couldn't help but hear a ring of disappointment in his voice when he told Peter, "You of little faith! Why did you doubt?"). But for me, that I am intimately known and yet completely loved by God has always been a point of deep reassurance. When I'm disappointed by circumstances or people, there is always this one, steady constant - God's loving and intimate knowledge of me.The fact that God KNOWS me, past, present, and future, also gives me HOPE and a sense of PURPOSE. Lately the verse from Proverbs, "Without vision, the people perish", has been reverberating in my head, and I've been praying very specifically for God to give me a "vision" for my life and also for us as a couple to know what direction we're headed and how God wants to use us in the future. Mary, you mentioned that if we're seeking God, He has a purpose for us for where we are RIGHT NOW. And I need to cling to that because honestly, I don't often feel very "purposeful". I want to live a life that matters, that impacts others, and I think about that almost constantly. If I hold to the fact that God has me where I am right now for a PURPOSE, then I can handle anything, no matter how hard or painful it may be.
When I read the list of God's names and got to "God of our Fathers", I couldn't help but think of the words to the following hymn:
"God of our Fathers", by Daniel C. Roberts
God of our fathers, whose almighty hand
Leads forth in beauty all the starry band
Of shining worlds in splendor through the skies
Our grateful songs before Thy throne arise.
Thy love divine hath led us in the past,
In this free land by Thee our lot is cast,
Be Thou our Ruler, Guardian, Guide and Stay,
Thy Word our law, Thy paths our chosen way.
From war’s alarms, from deadly pestilence,
Be Thy strong arm our ever sure defense;
Thy true religion in our hearts increase,
Thy bounteous goodness nourish us in peace.
Refresh Thy people on their toilsome way,
Lead us from night to never ending day;
Fill all our lives with love and grace divine,
And glory, laud, and praise be ever Thine.