“There is tremendous relief in knowing his love to me is utterly realistic, based at every point on prior knowledge of the worst about me, so that no discovery can disillusion him about me.”–J.I. Packer
As our relationships grow, we learn more and more about each other. Our favorite foods, where we went to school, our most embarrassing moment–we are designed to share, to know and to be known.
Yet, all of us hold back–because exhaustive sharing would also mean revealing those aspects of our lives that are repulsive. To risk sharing those things, is to risk the relationship itself.
Some of this holding back is part of living in a fallen world. We’re actually not supposed to share everything with everyone. Our fallenness, even fallenness that is being redeemed, can’t handle it on this side of glory–this is why the Lord fashions clothes for Adam and Eve after the fall–with no redemptive mandate to return to the nudity of the Garden of Eden.
But our fallenness–our holding back–leaves us all a bit hidden, scared, lonely.
Packer is pointing out that God’s love is far greater than anything we experience in our human relationships. Precisely because God knows everything about us–past, present, and future. And He loves His children in spite of the the worst that we know is there. He can’t discover that secret, because he already knows it. He won’t grow disillusioned and distance himself because a new bit of information came to light. He already knows it.
Can we accept this love? Can we feel the tremendous relief it brings?
Can we love Him in return?
Can we take greater risks being modestly vulnerable with each other?