All of us were created to be known. We have an inborn desire to be seen and celebrated. We want to be part of something larger than ourselves. Dallas Willard writes: “We were built to count, as water is made to run downhill.”
This longing to count—and be noticed—is eased by acknowledgement and praise. When we are recognized and affirmed, we respond with an internal sigh of satisfaction.
But what about the times we labor unseen? When we devote ourselves to common tasks? When nothing we accomplish is newsworthy?
At all times, seen and unseen, we can turn to the One who truly knows us. We can find validation in the source of all meaning and significance, in Jesus.
Jesus probes deeply into our heart (1 Sam. 16:7). He sees us when no one else is looking; he hears us when no one is listening (Ps. 139). And when he approves, he dances over us with joy (Zeph 3:17; Lk. 10:21).
On our part, we must quiet our hearts, seek his face, and listen for his whispers. Jesus may quicken for us a verse of Scripture, speak through a friend, or even give a dream with meaning—always in a recognizable voice (Jn. 10:4; Jam. 3:17).
When we dwell in the secret place of the Most High (Ps. 91:1; Col. 3:2-3), we can live quietly and work without acknowledgement yet with uncommon contentment because we rest in the approval of Jesus.