My betta fish died. To most who hear that, they immediately hear a toilet flush in their head and they move on. I’m sad. Kids get me. I’ve heard about family funerals for pet fish who died. I buried Yukon in a cute box under my roses. There is sadness in loss, even little ones. Kids grieve and then seem to move on. I will move on. But here are some things that endeared him to me: I believe he knew me. When I would come to the tank, eating time or not, Yukon would come flutter his fins and “greet me”. He would swim up and down in short little excited dance bursts that he never did when I wasn’t there speaking to him. He always ate better when I stayed there while he ate. Funny side note, he actually chewed his food. Who knew the little critters chewed?! If I touched the side of the tank, instead of backing up, he would bump up against where my finger was, then back up and flutter his fins. If I slid my finger down the tank, he would follow it and dance for me again. His personality emotionally charged me.
To say I was changed by a fish may be a stretch, but it did make me more aware of how it feels to be known. Being near Yukon made me feel good because he made me feel special when I paid him attention, and I like to think that I made him happy, too. Most of us get emotionally charged when we are around people that make us feel special and that we matter – all the more when we boost them up too by their knowing how much they matter to us. We have someone greater, stronger, more powerful, more loving, more wonderful than any thing or any human on the face of the earth, who thinks we matter A LOT. The Lord Jesus, our Creator, KNOWS us!
But now, O Jacob, listen to the Lord who created you.
O Israel, the one who formed you says,
“Do not be afraid, for I have ransomed you.
I have called you by name; you are mine. Isaiah 43:1
The way Jesus KNOWS us is encompassed in a Greek word that Jesus uses when talking of His love/knowledge/relationship with His Father AND with us: ginosko (pronounced gi-KNOW-sko). It is a prolonged form of the verb “to know absolutely” – to follow, to be aware of, to perceive, to understand mentally, physically, emotionally and spiritually. Peter tells the resurrected Jesus the first time they see each other after Peter denied Him, “Lord you ginosko all things, you KNOW that I love you.’ He was telling Jesus, you know more about my being than I do myself, check it- I love you!
That is how Jesus knows you. And me. In that “don’t have to explain a thing” kind of way. And when someone knows and is filled with joy in our presence, it makes us flutter our fins and do the excited dance. And He desires that kind of love from us. John 10: 11 and 14 says “I am the good shepherd who lays down His life for His sheep. I ginosko my sheep and my sheep ginosko me.” We can love Jesus, and follow Jesus, but we don’t go full monte until we giKNOWsko Jesus. And that takes spending time to develop this intimate relationship with the lover of our souls – which makes Him flutter His fins and do the excited dance.