Tuesday, 11 March 2008

Meditation by J.I. Packer “He knows me”

What matters supremely is not, in the last analysis, the fact that I know God, but the larger fact which underlies it–the fact that he knows me. I am graven on the palms of his hands. I am never out of his mind.

All my knowledge of him depends on his sustained initiative in knowing me. I know him because he first knew me, and continues to know me. He knows me as a friend, one who loves me; and there is not a moment when his eye is off me, or his attention distracted from me, and no moment, therefore, when his care falters.

This is momentous knowledge. There is unspeakable comfort–the sort of comfort that energizes, be it said, not enervates–in knowing that God is constantly taking knowledge of me in love and watching over me for my good. There is tremendous relief in knowing that his love to me is utterly realistic, based at every point on prior knowledge of the worst about me, so that no discovery now can disillusion him about me, in the way I am so often disillusioned about myself, and quench his determination to bless me.


Ρωμανός ~ Romanós said...

"What matters supremely is not, in the last analysis, the fact that I know God, but the larger fact which underlies it–the fact that he knows me."

This idea took hold of me one day when as a 22-year-old furniture maker's apprentice in Edmonton, Alberta, my mind took a leave of absence while my body was doing the mindless job of sanding furniture tops on an old-fashioned belt sander. There I was, pushing the sanding table in and out with one hand, the other pulling down on the lever of a sanding shoe, trying to achieve a level surface on each piece.

I was thinking that day of how important it was to believe that Jesus would come back some day. Funny, though, because I was still not a believer, but rather a philosophic hanger-on to the New Age kind of spirituality that combines "belief" in Jesus with a grab bag of other "spiritual" concepts.

Why should it matter to me that Jesus would be coming back, if he were only one of many "saviors" as is currently being taught by Deepak Chopra? I think deep down my original Christian upbringing was pushing its way back into my consciousness. I was starting to see where New Age thought was leading, and it must have been unsettling the real me, the one that would live forever, or suffer the second death.

As I was pushing that sanding table in and out, my limbs automatically sensing the right amount of pressure to get the work done, my mind was drifting into the realm of pure thought. I kept thinking, "He's really going to come back. He really is. What will happen to me then? Will He recognize me? Will He know me?" Suddenly, in my mind's eye, I could see something like an image of Jesus above me, and a little behind me to my left, looking down at me with a serious but not angry stare, just looking at me very hard. Without moving my head for a closer look, something in me just said, "When You come back, will you know me? Will you recognize me?" Pausing for the answer, there was none. He just kept looking, almost sadly. All this, you understand, in my mind's eye. I don't know how else to put it. After a few seconds more, and something external to my thought roused me to physical action, and the chink in time closed. But that moment of kairós time, and that thought "Will He know me?" was the beginning of my conversion to Jesus Christ, which came about after two more years of struggle against the good testimony of others.

Andrew Kenny said...

Thanks for your story Romanos. Even the thought that He knows us when we are going though a time of pain or sorrow brings relief.

Many a young child who has fallen down on the street will scream until Mum or Dad takes them up in their arms.Even if the pain is severe: for the child to know that the parents know is often enough to quell the child's fears and bring them peace.Likewise to sense his presence in the midst of suffering and to hear his words of reassurance often brings strength to the believer.