“Before I formed you in the womb I knew you,
and before you were born I consecrated you;
I appointed you a prophet to the nations.”
O Lord, you have searched me and known me!
You know when I sit down and when I rise up;
you discern my thoughts from afar.
You search out my path and my lying down
and are acquainted with all my ways.
I’ve been reflecting on these passages recently. Somewhere inside me, amid the churn of my choices and my past, my thoughts and actions, successes and failures, sins and virtues and more sins, is the Gabe Moothart that God knew before I was born. The person that he planned and intends to complete. God has great plans for this person:
And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose. For those whom he foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, in order that he might be the firstborn among many brothers.
Notice that God’s foreknowledge is not of specific events, but of persons. He foreknew me, as a whole. But where is this person that God foreknew?? Partially obscured by my mistakes and my sins, my virtues which I’ve turned into vices, a hard heart that says “my will be done”. But he is in there nonetheless.
My job is to let him come out, to labor with God to remove the obstructions that I’ve placed in his way, to dig and dig, to become more like Christ and more like myself at the same time. And the payoff is to be reborn, to receive from God’s hands the identity that he has known since before I was born, which he has prepared for me:
‘To the one who conquers I will give some of the hidden manna, and I will give him a white stone, with a new name written on the stone that no one knows except the one who receives it.’
What will my name be? What will yours be?