What is more, I consider everything a loss compared to the surpassing greatness of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things.
I’ve been reading a little booklet I picked up at the Beth Moore conference this past weekend, and in it she shares the verse above with some thoughts on “knowing Christ.”
She shares that the verb “to know” is “nosis” in the Greek and can be translated “the knowledge,” but that the deeper meaning of the verb implies “present and fragmentary knowledge!”
She goes on to talk about how Paul is trying to stress the fact that NO MATTER WHAT HAPPENS, NO MATTER WHAT WE MAY LOSE, nothing compares with even the little fragments of what we know already about Jesus Christ. We may have lots of questions that seem unanswerable, lots of mysteries that seem unsolvable, lots of difficult situations that seem unnecessary. But just resting in the little that we do know about Jesus-the snippets of His story-is enough to declare His SURPASSING GREATNESS!
Then she looks at I Corinthians 13 and talks about how in this passage when it says, “Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known,”
uses a form of the word “know” that gives us hope because it means “full and complete” knowledge!
Reading this book has reminded me of a few Sundays ago. I was getting a cup of coffee in the hallway before Sunday school and I could hear Nick’s Sunday school teacher teaching his lesson around the corner to all of Nick’s friends.
A sad and panicked pain rushed through my heart as I realized Nick wasn’t in there and never would be again, but then almost immediately the Lord placed on my heart this very verse,
“Then I shall KNOW even as I am fully KNOWN!!!!”
Nick doesn’t need a Sunday school lesson anymore! He is sitting at the feet of Jesus……KNOWING ALL that we now can only long to know.
I loved what I was reading today about the different forms of the word “know,” but I didn’t plan to write about it until something happened while I was subbing today!
Maybe I should have known by the name of the school that this type of memory was inevitable, but it still took me by great surprise!!!
I had lunch duty, so I was sittting at a cafeteria table with about 45 precious third graders. The boy on my left was telling me one story while the boy on my right was trying to tell me an entirely different one. While I sat there, trying to eat and trying to soak up their words, a group of kids at the other end of the table began to scream loudly! I quickly looked towards that end of the long table to see kids swaying from side to side and screaming. Then I saw it….
a wasp was flying over the table sometimes dipping down into the middle of the table and then sometimes taking a sharp turn and going up into the air. The kids were hysterical…..I thought “surely not……surely this isn’t happening to me…..how will I ever get these kids calmed down.” Thankfully, the wasp made it to the end of the table where I had gone to try and “swat it” out of the air and a sweet lunch lady managed to “whack it with a towel” and then stomp on it right there in the cafeteria! The kids burst into applause! It was hilarious.
As we lined up and headed back to the room, the kids couldn’t stop talking about the memory. I heard so many different versions of the story that I thought it would be neat to have the kids share the memory in writing from their own perspectives. I told them that when someone writes choosing the right perspective to tell it from is a powerful part of their writing’s impression on the reader. I asked the other third grade teacher if she would have her kids do the same thing. As I sat later and read all of their versions of this same little moment in time, I was amazed at how pieces of the story all came together and made a much more full and complete story than I ever could have imagined on my own.
By reading all of the stories, I learned that….
the wasp flew in through an open window
the wasp landed on someone’s biscuit
that student still ate the biscuit!
some kids were terrified
some thought it was funny
some kids kept on eating because they didn’t want to get stung
some kids tried to dodge the wasp and almost fell out of their seats
the lunch lady used a towel for her weapon
and the list goes on and on…….
It wasn’t until I sat and read all of these short and funny stories that I had a clear picture of what had really happened in those few short minutes at lunch today.
Suddenly, I knew how the bee arrived, what he did while he was on the scene, and how his journey had ended!!
Suddenly the words I had been reading about “knowing” Jesus in fragments made so much more sense!
I believe that there will come a day when we will stand before the throne and SUDDENLY just as if we are reading a million notes at one time from a million different perspectives we will have the complete and full story of our lives……………..
EVERYTHING WILL MAKE SENSE!!!
The “almost” accidents, the unexplainable losses,
every tear, every blessing, every disappointment, every pain and every gain…….
SUDDENLY we will understand them all!!!
From my tiny, human, imperfect view, it is easy to look at life and ask lots of questions.
The secret to peace comes in being able to remember that one day we will KNOW all things completely!!!
But until that day, just having fragments of the knowledge of the surpassing greatness of Jesus Christ should be enough to keep us pressing on!!!
Thank you Father for “bee”ing faithful, “bee”ing creative in the way You speak, “bee”ing my Father, Savior, Lord, Comforter, Protector, Provider, and so much more!
I “bee”lieve that one day my faith will “bee” sight and I will know even as I am known! My knowledge that right now seems so lacking in details, explanations, reasons……so fragmented…..
will one day be full and complete!!
Thank you for this promise!
And for tonight thank you for simple things like a kind lunch lady who took the time to swat a “bee” and save me from a nearly out-of-control and hysterical group of third graders!!!!
“Bee”lieving from my fragmented view!