"How do you know me?" Nathanael asked. Jesus answered, "I saw you while you were still under the fig tree before Philip called you” (John 1:48 NIV).
Friend to Friend
When I was a teenager, it was often my job to watch my younger brothers. At that time, our home life was challenging and hard. When nightfall came, two little guys would tiptoe into my room and snuggle in for a story.
“Say a word,” I’d whisper.
“Dragon!” one little brother would say.
“Forest,” said the other.
I’d weave a story about a fierce dragon caught in a forest, two little guys hanging on every word. Before long, they’d calm down, go back to their own room, and fall asleep. I didn’t know it back then, but storytelling was a gift God placed in my DNA. It wasn’t just a knack for telling stories, but something He would use for His purposes.
In John 1, Nathanael is walking toward Jesus. They are about to cross paths for the first time. As they get close, Jesus tells those within hearing distance that Nathanael is a good man.
This puzzles Nathanael.
“How do you know me?” Nathanael asked.
Jesus answered, “I saw you while you were still under the fig tree before Philip called you” (John 1:48 NIV).
Nathanael had never met Jesus, but Jesus saw him for who he was from the beginning.
I don’t know about you, but I find comfort in that. Long before we have everything figured out, Jesus sees us. He knows our character. He sees the gifts God placed inside of us. He knows that we are a part of the beautiful plan God has for this world.
Nathanael (also known as Bartholomew) became a disciple of Jesus. He traveled across India, Armenia, Ethiopia, and Southern Arabia, sharing the Gospel. He drew many to Christ.
When I was telling stories to my brothers as a teenager, I didn’t understand that this gift would not just comfort two little boys’ hearts but would also be used to share the Gospel years later.
You may feel ordinary. Your unique giftings might not seem like a big deal to you. You may wonder if God even sees you. Take heart! Jesus knows and sees you. He sees who you once were. He sees who you are becoming. He sees who you were always meant to be.
He sees how you take something ordinary and make it beautiful. He sees how you bring a gift of lightheartedness to a room. He delights as you create music or words. He loves that you are good with children. He understands that you are a dreamer or a planner or that you have a natural ability to lead. Whatever it is about you that is unique, He sees and knows that.
Why is this so important?
When we grasp the fact that Jesus knows and sees us, we begin to see ourselves through His lens. We step into that “knowing” with a heart of joy and that changes us, which changes the direction of our lives. We not only embrace that we are known and seen, but share that news with others, which changes their heart too.
You are known. You are seen. That’s a truth worth celebrating.
Father, You see and know me. That’s such a sweet truth. You see my past. You see my hurts. You see what I’ve gone through, but You also see my gifts, my purpose, and how those can make a difference in the world. How awesome it is to be known and seen by You!
In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
Now It’s Your Turn
Jesus sees that gift in you. How might that change the way you see yourself?
Today, consider one gift God has placed inside of you. Write down one way it has impacted others, whether in your family, community, church, or in any other environment.
Thank God that He sees and knows you. Thank Him for that gift and ask Him to continue to use it to love others in His name.
More from the Girlfriends
In Suzie’s book, Spirit-Led Heart, you are invited to discover a Helper who knows the heart of the Father over you.
The Holy Spirit is not a mystery but rather a promise to help you live your faith wherever you are.
Read the first chapter free, as well as find other freebies, here.
(As an Amazon Associate, Girlfriends in God earns A SMALL COMMISSION from qualifying purchases using this paid link.)
© 2022 by Suzanne Eller. All rights reserved.
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I so needed this today. I never looked at myself as having a gift/talent before…at least not one that God could use to advance His kingdom. I make shirts, wreaths, paper flowers…anything crafty I will try it if I can. I feel like God has been calling me to use my work for Him…to make Him apart of it. I could not see how He could be apart of making a shirt, mug, hat, wreath, anything. Then one day it hit me…my paper flowers. The process of making a paper flower is a great demonstration how God shapes and molds us. You start with a plain piece of card stock, cut away the edges to make a shape, cut, curl and shape till it resembles a petal. After you do this numerous times and put it all together you have a beautiful paper flower. Sadly I have a fear of putting myself out there. I have put this on the back burner and sadly I don’t feel that calling as much. I want that feeling back…can God not use my “gift” now since I did not obey? I want Him to use me, but I also have been seen a spoke over that I will be speaking to people and that intimidates me. I’m kinda like Moses….I am not a “woman” that speaks well..I’m not bold enough. I do great behind the screen of a computer using my words, just not as much in front of people or even behind a camera. Please pray that if this is what God wants me to do that He will not only put the desire/calling back in my life, but that He will give me the boldness, wisdom, the words…..This verse is what has been placed on my heart ever since I felt God was calling me…. Ester 4:14 “You were born for such a time as this”.
Shannon, Praying that God will give you more boldness in your pursuit of His plans and purposes for your life!
Dear Shannon, if you feel that burn inside you it must be something to look for. BTW I loved the methaphor of how God shapes us with your paper flowers and it is somehow what Jesus used with His parables: teach huge truths with daily life stories, something near to them.
It is never late to follow His paths please do not believe such lie and go for what God has for you girl!
AGE IS NOT A PART OF FINDING OUR TALENTS, READINESS TO SEEK OUR GIFTS FROM GOD, TO BE STILL, LISTEN AND STAND STILL AND TALK TO God Lord what can I do for you,how, what, WHERE, THEN TRUSTING HIM TO SPEAK, WITH A ROAD MAP PREPARED FOR US TO DEVELOPE OUR WAY,PREPARATION, THINGs TO LEARN, WHO, WHAT AND HOW. our past life, our mistakes, all things may have been part of our learning and preparation already. One step at a time just follow him word, listen, trusting and doors will be opened or closed behind the right door if wectrust to walk through may surprise, knocks and you shall find.open heart, mind and and soul and walk with him on our journey path for his purpose. He walks beside us always.
It is absolutely wonderful that God has gifted you with the ability to make beautiful crafts! Have you ever thought about using those gifts to help in Vacation Bible School? Working with children can often be less intimidating. I can also see your gifts used by volunteering to help make crafts with nursing home residents, or making your flowers and attaching a note and leaving them to brighten the day of a cancer patient at a chemo clinic. Girl! You’ve got this! Trust God to lead you and step out in obedience and simply love someone through your crafts
Shannon: I’m right there with you!
My gift is working as an encouragement( old school, sending postage cards) member of our church’s “care team”. I’m good, in small groups or one one one, but public speaking isn’t a good fit(at least not for now?!)
You don’t realize how much a real, tangible piece of paper artwork would mean to someone who is in need. Jesus just showed up with me yesterday, for a friend that is going for some major testing. I dropped by her place of work, with a personalized message card in hand, and she responded with a huge hug for me!
Believe me when I say, lean into your talent that God gave you! Hurting people, need this kind of God-inspired love. If not now….when? Esther 4:14, should be on every believer’s mission statement!
Bless you with your new Godly adventure!
You are so very gifted. I loved all that you shared. I can’t wait to see how your gifts encourage others. It definitely encourages me!
I’m reading your book “The Spirit Led Heart” have read through Chapter 6. It has truly blessed me, especially because I’m undergoing Chemo for Cervical Cancer.
Standing on God’s promises for my total healing & restoration 🙏☝🏽