I ran into a long time friend the other day while we both were meandering through a store. We had been friends since elementary school, through middle and high school and although our worlds hadn’t crossed often since then, friendship remained.
We stood there for almost an hour, catching each other up with what was going on in our lives, sharing about our families, the highs and lows of the last couple of years, letting each other in with what we were dreaming about for the future. I walked away from the conversation feeling full, feeling energized and feeling refreshed.
I found myself thinking about this friend all day. I prayed for her every time she came to mind and not only did I pray, I smiled. There had been something different about our time together. Something unique. What had made the interaction so sweet? What had caused me to walk away feeling excitement?
It took me a couple of days to put my finger on the answer to my questions – history.
As I said before, we had gone to school together from elementary up; we had both stayed fairly local to our hometown after college; and most recently, our kids were at the same school. We aren’t in each other’s every day life, or really in each other’s every year life but yet there was a depth of knowledge of each other that led to an ease of conversation that felt right.
Having history with someone can bring up every emotion in the book. It can bring up happiness as you remember shared experiences of field trips and powder puff football, as it did for me. For others, having a history with someone can bring up feelings of grief and loss as that person may remind you of a painful past. It can bring up feelings of anger as you remember being wronged by that person. For some, having history with someone may bring up feelings of shame, wishing you could go back and do it differently. Whatever the emotion is, it often stands there with you, almost like a third person in the conversation, bringing your past and your present together.
But history with any human being is incomplete. There is no way that the other person knows it all. Yes, you may have had shared experiences or you may have been friends since the day you were born or you may have been married for 50 years, but there is no way that the other person knows it all, because they are not inside of you. They may know your feelings because you verbally told them or they may know your feelings because they know you so well that they know what you are feeling based on how you non-verbally communicated, but they are not inside your head, shifting through your own experiences that cause a certain emotion. Another person can simply not know it all, no matter the amount of history you have.
There is one though, who knows it all. That person is God.
God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit was there at the beginning when the earth was formless and empty. God spoke all creation into being. He knew then and always that you would be part of history. Psalms 139: 15-16 says, “My frame was not hidden from you when I was made in the secret place. When I was woven together in the depths of the earth, you saw my unformed body. All the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be.” God saw you and knew you, every fiber of your being, every day of your life, every emotion and feeling and experience you would have, He knew all of you before you were formed.
Talk about history.
And it doesn’t stop there. When you came into being, when your unique presence blessed the world around you, God knew you, but God also knows you. Unlike humans, who can only know a dull picture of the past and have a snapshot of the present, God knows your future history. He knows what was, what is and what will be.
God is omniscient.
God is not just some mega computer that holds a timeline for every single human life, but he intimately knows each and every detail of your life. He knows your thoughts before you have strung them together, he knows your feelings before you can put a voice to them, he knows your hopes, your dreams, your failures, your pain. He knows it all.
And it doesn’t stop there either. God is not only omniscient, knowing all, God is for you. He is on your team. He is rooting for you. And He is working all things for your good if you love him and have been called according to His purpose. Our circumstances may seem desperate and we may be hit with the worst that life has to offer, but we can trust that God will work in all things.
God is omnipotent.
I walked away from my friend that day wanting more. More time, more conversation, more knowledge of each other, but as humans we are limited by time and space, we are limited by deadlines and responsibilities, we are limited. But God is not. God is always there to have a conversation with. He is always there to interpret feelings with. He is always there to give wisdom. He is always present with you and He will never leave.
God is omnipresent.
God is one who holds your history in His loving and able hands. He is the friend who actually knows it all and loves you despite it all.
“O LORD, you have searched me and you know me. You know when I sit and when I rise; you perceive my thoughts from afar. You discern my going out and my lying down; you are familiar with all my ways. Before a word is on my tongue you know it completely, O LORD. You hem me in – behind and before; you have laid your hand upon me.” Psalms 139:1-5
God, thank you for knowing all of me and loving all of me.
Well said. I am grateful to God for our history and the blessing you are to me.