From “I am” to “Who am I?”

IMG_0852This is going to come as a real shock. Are you sitting down?

I keep a journal. Yes. I know, it’s crazy. Me, a writer, keeping a journal. And a blog. And a professional site. And about six thousand Word documents full of gibberish. It’s like it just keeps flowing out of me and I can’t stop it.

But the journal is more of a place where I write prayers for the day, thoughts about the bible, and concerns for my friends, family, and circumstances. Yesterday I was flipping through the journal just to see what has happened over the last six months, and I realized a very disturbing pattern.

Almost all of my prayers start with the same phrase.

IMG_0392 IMG_0393 IMG_0395I felt a little disturbed by that realization. First of all, it’s GOD who calls himself “I am.” Why am I spending so much time in my prayers saying those words about… me? 

Still, I tried to shake off the creeping feeling, and just opened my bible and tried to forget it. Then I opened to 2 Samuel, where I read a prayer of David’s…

Who am I, O Sovereign Lord, and what is my family , that you have brought me this far? And as if this were not enough in your sight, you have also spoken about the future of the house of your servant. Is this your usual way of dealing with man, O Lord?  What more can David say to you? For you know your servant…”

David doesn’t start his prayer with “I am,” but instead, with “Who am I?” Sure, it’s just an extra word and a question mark, but it changes everything.

If I come to God with the phrase, “Who am I…” it puts me in a posture of gratitude. If I come to God with the phrase “Who am I…” it puts me in a posture of questioning, of asking, of arms open waiting for an answer. “I am” is a statement of certainty.

But who am I to be certain?

And who am I to tell God who I am?

He knows, because He made me. He knows, because he loves me. He knows, because he is.