Leighton eats her little soup crackers as I enjoy the quiet. The soothing hum of heat pumping through my home along with little baby crunches is all the sound I hear.
I’ve had a recurring thought/idea over the past several days. For some reason, God’s subtle whisper to my heart perhaps?, I’ve been thinking about all I don’t know.
Instead of all I think I do.
I’ve always run the risk of knowing and saying too much. This comes with an outgoing, chatty personality. It can also come with a genuine desire to encourage others.
In my thirties I’ve been learning that I don’t know as much as I thought I did. Honestly, I used to have an opinion and answer for almost everything. Interestingly enough, I now see this as a sign of insecurity and immaturity. It takes a certain humility to not only realize, but admit, you don’t know it all and it’s normally a hard-learned lesson.
Funny enough, even when you have realized you don’t know everything in time you realize it again.
Sweetly enough, the most amazing thing is finding out it’s really okay not to know it all. Not to have every answer nailed down. It’s kind of freeing.
Alas, I do still struggle and fight hard to not hand out answers like candy at a Christmas parade. You know…on the spiritual pride float tossing my confessions and 1-2-3’s at the bystanders. Convinced I’m quite spiritual bestowing my knowledge from on high but never really stepping off my platform to mingle.
So, a few days ago I started thinking about what I don’t know. I started thinking about how in life we can become so focused on the imperfections and difficulties that we only see the deficit. We only see what improvements need to be made.
But what if God wants me to realize that it’s so much better than it would be without Him?
What if Holy Spirit is trying to encourage us to see that although life and circumstances may not be perfect or faultless, they are much better and healthier than they would be if not for His love, grace and strength in our lives?
Like a curtain, you know? The curtain is closed and so we only see what’s in front of us. And if you have an analytical or perfectionist personality you will see mostly failures on your life’s stage. You will live discouraged because marriage, parenting, jobs, health, finances, frienships…life!…has not aligned with your story-book imaginations.
Over the past few days, as I’ve thought about this here and there, a new kind of gratitude has spilled out of my heart. I live a very introspective life. For me, I’d rather live that way than bury my head in the sand and refuse to hear or see any truth about myself. But it comes with a certain kind of burden if I’m not careful. A weight that can undo me when I think I know more than I really do.
When I think I understand more than I really can.
Only my Father sees the entire picture. Only Creator sees my life with crystal clarity. I hear a small whisper encouraging me…
Even the things that are imperfect and hard are really so much better than they would’ve been had I not been in the picture. You see the space for improvement but I’m telling you it’s already so much improved.
I see it…just a glimpse…a peek behind the curtain into the realm of all I don’t know and can’t see about my life.
I’m encouraged. And very thankful.
Sometimes we just keep seeing what we perceive as losses…dreams that got away…failures…regret and consequence. We live bent from the weight of remorse when God has not only forgiven us, He’s making all the difference in our losses, dreams, regrets and consequences.
Can I do this? Can I remember to live grateful for what I don’t know? Thankful, so thankful, that I didn’t have to know because He was there. He answered. Intervened.
One day I won’t be squinting in the fog. I’ll see what would have been, the suffering I would have known, had Jesus not walked with me, loved me and cared for me in this life. I suspect in those Heavenly moments I’ll understand the gift of this fog…of this not knowing…of His perfection gracing and covering my imperfection.
As the curtain is pulled back and I take in the full view of what life would’ve been without Him, I may shrink back a moment. The ugliness may startle me. Then I envision falling at His feet, tears of love and gratitude overflowing as I catch my breath…look into eyes that saw what I couldn’t…knew what I couldn’t have known.
Gave me a life I didn’t even know I wasn’t going to have without Him.
1 Corinthians 13:12 (the message)
We don’t yet see things clearly. We’re squinting in a fog, peering through a mist. But it won’t be long before the weather clears and the sun shines bright! We’ll see it all then, see it all as clearly as God sees us, knowing him directly just as he knows us!
I find myself thankful for what I don’t know. Thankful that I won’t have to know. Matter-of-fact I might work on giving up my squint. When I’m bogged down traveling the distance between my imperfect pain and story-book imaginations, maybe I’ll stop and rest…
Enjoy the life and imperfect space Jesus covered as He laid down on those wooden beams for me. As He stretched out bloody arms that would one day draw me close and hold me near…nail-scarred hands that cover my heart and shield my eyes.
I don’t have to know what I don’t know. I don’t have to live that life. And I’m thankful.