The Francis Asbury Society

FACE TO FACE Intimate Moments with God 4/27

Posted on | April 27, 2015 | Comments Off on FACE TO FACE Intimate Moments with God 4/27

Scripture reading: Genesis 3:9

Knowing That I Am Known

So now that you know God (or should I say,
now that God knows you) . . . (Gal. 4:9)

Emile Cailliet (1894–1981) was a professor of French literature and philosophy, first at the University of Pennsylvania and then at Princeton Theological Seminary. Growing up in the arid secularism of France early in the twentieth century, Cailliet’s conversion to Christ was the direct result of his first encounter with the Bible. While recovering from wounds received at the front during World War I, he met and married a Scotch-Irish girl who
professed to be a Christian. But he made it clear to her from the beginning that religion would not be tolerated in their home. In his spare time, Cailliet devoted himself to a secret project. Reading broadly in literature and philosophy, he collected passages that spoke to him personally. Copying the texts by hand into a leather binder, he believed he was compiling a book that would understand him and thus reveal the meaning of life. When his project was finally finished, however, he felt an overwhelming sense of sadness. He realized that his herculean effort at self-understanding had been an enormous waste of time and energy.

It was during this period that Caillet’s wife happened upon an old Huguenot Church while strolling their baby through town. She approached the white-haired pastor and blurted out, “Have you a Bible in French?” He smiled, gave her a Bible, and she returned home. That was the very day Emile was in the pit of despair over his inability to produce the book that would understand him. He asked her where she had been. Reluctantly, she told him her story. Years later, he recounted what happened next.

“A Bible, you say? Where is it? Show me. I have never seen one before!” She complied. I literally grabbed the book and rushed to my study with it. I opened and “chanced” upon the Beatitudes! I read, and read, and read— now aloud with an indescribable warmth surging within. I could not find words to express my awe and wonder. And suddenly the realization dawned upon me: this was the book that would understand me! I continued to read
deeply into the night, mostly from the Gospels. And . . . as I looked through them, the One of whom they spoke, the One who spoke and acted in them became alive to me. The providential circumstances amid which the book had found me now made it clear that while it seemed absurd to speak of a book understanding a man, this could be said of the Bible because its pages were animated by the presence of the living God and the power of his mighty acts. To this God I prayed that night, and the God who answered was the same God of whom it was spoken in the book.1

Dear friend, perhaps you imagine that you are searching for God. You have been reading the Bible and other books in the hopes that you would encounter him there. Have you ever paused to consider that it might be God who is searching for you? The greatest miracle that can happen today is not that you would come to know him but that he would come to know you! Stop hiding from the One who so desperately has been looking for you.

The Prodigal Son at least walked home on his own
feet. But who can duly adore that Love which will
open the high gates to a prodigal who is brought
in kicking, struggling, resentful, and darting his
eyes in every direction for a chance of escape.
—C. S. Lewis

point to ponder • Long before you began looking for God, he was looking for you.

prayer focus • For the young people in your church who, during this phase of life, long to be understood.
1 This testimony is excerpted from a July 1974 issue of Eternity Magazine.


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