During my morning walk today the idea pressed upon my heart was “how little I know,” which is a truth that seems to be seeping deeper in my soul lately. How easy it is for me to think I know – what’s best for me, what’s best for you, what’s best for everyone involved. And then little lessons pop up to remind me that my perspective is so very limited.
With each person I passed along the path this morning — strollers, power-walkers, walk-joggers, joggers, runners, bladers, cyclists — my body of knowledge shrunk smaller and smaller. As I looked at the first woman who whisked by, I considered how I knew nothing of her past, present, or future life. I knew none of her current stressors, nor the emotions whirling around in her heart at that very moment. I knew nothing about her bank account, her marital status, or her spiritual condition. She could have been in optimum physical health, or battling a chronic disease – I had no way of knowing. Of course, after “evaluating” her clothes, her physique, and her facial expression, I could potentially have placed plenty of judgements on her. But would they have been accurate? Not likely. How little I know.
And then another person passed. And another. And another. Rather quickly, I remembered how small my brain is and how little information it holds; and also how big God is and how much he knows.
He knows every detail about each of these morning exercisers, myself included. He knows our needs, our hopes, our struggles, our mistakes, our issues. He knows the exact moment we each opened our eyes that morning, as well as every morsel that went into each of our mouths for breakfast. Each of our family trees extending all the way back to the beginning and forward into the future, and each gene in each of our incredibly complex bodies – he knows every bit. And what’s more, he cares.
These thoughts brought my mind back to the verses I chewed on before my walk:
I urge you, first of all, to pray for all people. Ask God to help them; intercede on their behalf, and give thanks for them. Pray this way for kings and all who are in authority so that we can live peaceful and quiet lives marked by godliness and dignity. This is good and pleases God our Savior, who wants everyone to be saved and to understand the truth. For there is only one God and one Mediator who can reconcile God and humanity—the man Christ Jesus. He gave his life to purchase freedom for everyone. (1 Timothy 2:1-6)
Paul urges us to manifest God’s care for all people by praying for everyone – even those we know nothing about. To give thanks that we each have been given the gift of life, to seek God’s help in all of our various areas of need, to ask that we all gain increasing awareness of the truth, and to pray that we all become more fully reconciled with the God of Love through Jesus.
I may not know much about the others I pray for, but I do know the God who knows every detail.
How little do you know?