I’m not fabulous at making up stories, but I did my best when my children were young. I would lie next to them and make up cowboy stories, detective stories, and more. Of course, my children were the stars in these stories. There was a character who always captured the outlaws named “Samuel-Get-Your-Gun” and a smart young lady named “Strawberry Shortcake” who ran a bakery (Abigail’s love at the time). I would draw pictures of the map of the area on their backs as I told how they outsmarted and outgunned these criminals with names like “Shorty,” “Lefty,” “Harvey Badbreath,” and “Meano Fatso.”
As much as I knew every detail about the wild west town of “Silverton,” (I made the town up, so of course I knew all about it.) there was so many other things that I did NOT know. Since my husband taught high school science and history, I would refer the children to him when they had other questions.
One day, Samuel summed it up with, “Mama is smart because she knows about cowboys and Indians, but Daddy is smarter because he knows about wolves and aardvarks.”
This was on my mind so strong last week that I found myself walking around singing the children’s song by Louise Abernathy: “I can’t tell when friends are true, but God can. I can’t look inside of you, but God can.”
There are so many things that I don’t know. Sometimes I almost feel like the woman with Alzheimer’s at a church in Cincinnati who approached my sister to talk to her. With intensity, she said, “Do you see that lady over there?”
My sister Mary Anne, trying to be helpful, answered, “Yes.”
The dear woman nodded with satisfaction, “Yes. That’s what she did. That’s what she did.”
Mary Anne realized at that point that something was wrong. The woman’s mind was leaving her. I’m sure she had once been a vivacious person, but things had changed.
I don’t always know the correct words to say. I get confused. I don’t know how to help people…I don’t always even know how to help myself. I don’t know why things happen.
I don’t know why my own mother went through dementia at a time in my life when it seemed I needed her. I don’t know why my husband has had eleven eye surgeries. I don’t know why a friend died last week. But God knows.
He knows all of that and more. So today, I have been resting in what God knows. The Bible says that He knows the number of hairs on my head and the very intents of my heart. There is not a thought in my mind but that He already knows it entirely. He is acquainted with all my ways! He knows my downsitting and my uprising. He had His eye on me from the time I was yet unborn until now! He knows all this in detail!
My pastor Bro. Johnny tells the story of going to visit Bro. Elmer Knight in the nursing home. The workers in this nursing home were having problems with another holiness man, Bro. Charlie. Bro. Charlie had lost so much of his mental faculties that he was getting confused and putting on his roommate’s clothes. This made his roommate upset, so Bro. Knight said, “Put Charlie in my room. We won’t have any problems.”
And they didn’t.
When Bro. Johnny came to visit Bro. Knight, there was Bro. Charlie lying in the other bed in the room—totally unaware and unconnected to anything going on. There wasn’t any recognition on his face as they walked in and visited. Finally, it came time to leave. Bro. Knight turned to Bro. Charlie and said, “Charlie, we’re going to have prayer now.”
Immediately, Charlie jumped out of bed. He went to his knees and cut loose to praying with the other men in the room. After they finished their prayer, Charlie got up, got back in bed, and once again his eyes had a vacant stare. Bro. Charlie no longer knew who any of his friends were, but he had not forgotten who God was!
The first stanzas from the song “I Know Whom I Have Believed” that Daniel Whittle wrote are, “I know not why…I know not how…I know not what…I know not when.” But the chorus answers, “But I know Whom!”
Even if there are things that I can’t put together, if I can just remember “Whom I have believed” all the rest is going to be okay! Today, as I clutch God’s great big hand, I am reminding myself of what Job told God about himself—that his knowledge was so limited that he couldn’t possibly know the big picture and what was going on behind the scenes. But God knew.
Now THAT I know. I can rest in that.