I think I know my daughter pretty well. We spend a lot of time together and enjoy each other’s company. When I tell her I understand her, she comes back with, “You don’t know me like that.” I tell her I do know her like that because I’m her mother. But perhaps she is right. We often judge others based on how well we think we know them, but we don’t allow for growth and change. We put people in boxes with well-defined walls and corners.
We do the same thing to God. Just as we often treat people according to our expectations of how we think they’ll act, we treat God with the complacency that comes from thinking we know how he’ll answer prayer, how he deals with people and how he thinks. We have a tendency to make him over in our own image, imagining he’s like us.
We don’t know God like that, and that’s probably a good thing. As David said in Psalm 139, “such knowledge is too wonderful for me.” Our minds would go on overload. God, in his infinite glory and power, is way beyond our ability to comprehend. And that is why Jesus came. Jesus is one of us, and he’s also the perfect revelation of the Father. We can relate to and understand Jesus, and what we know about him is that he loves us and will never leave us, which means that the Father loves us and will never leave us either. The Holy Spirit gives us assurance of that in the deepest parts of our hearts and minds. We may not know everything about God, but that is the one thing we can know for certain—he loves us.
And even though we don’t know God inside and out, he does know us inside and out. He knows us in the secret, inner places no one else sees. He understands what makes us tick in our own unique ways. Does that make you nervous? It shouldn’t—God isn’t like you and me. He’s like Jesus. We sometimes turn away from people the more we get to know them, but he never does.
Everyone wants to be understood, to be heard and noticed. I guess that’s why so many are blogging. Everyone has something to say, whether anyone listens or not. But blogging will never take the place of face-to-face communication. A person could have the most viewed blog on the Internet and still be lonely and misunderstood.
Jesus makes us one with him, bringing us into the eternal communion of love he shares with the Father and the Spirit. In him we are heard, noticed, understood and known. Only God—Father, Son and Spirit—sees into our very hearts and knows everything we’ve ever thought. And he loves us in spite of what he sees. When the world seems cold and impersonal and I feel lonely and misunderstood, I take comfort knowing at least Someone knows me like that. CO
Tammy Tkach lives in California. She travels widely as a speaker at conferences, and visiting GCI congregations worldwide with her husband, Pastor General Joseph Tkach.