Monday, August 11, 2008

The difference between knowing and knowing...

This summer I discovered the luminescent world of making stained glass. It’s addictive and beautiful. It wasn’t difficult and with the first piece I soldered I was hooked and then the first time I went to choose glass to cut and saw all the various patterns and shading … make that hook, line and sinker!

My dad made a Tiffany lamp years before I ever remembered him doing so. The light fixture was just always there hanging above the dinning room table.
Suddenly now I realize, my dad made a tiffany lamp!

I have a better idea now of what that means and the craftsmanship it involved.
I knew that about my dad for a very long time but it is only now that I really know what that means.

It’s that way with God too.
We know lots of things about him.

He is holy, faithful, just, gracious, merciful, and omnipotent; he hears our prayers, collects our tears, sends us peace, a refuge in trouble, knows our hearts… and on and on we could go.

We know these things and we believe these things, absolutely, but then there are times that the light bulb goes on and we really get it.
Perhaps it is because at that moment we find ourselves in need of one of these attributes, or perhaps because we have been called on to be one who listens, or is faithful or to be gracious.

Suddenly knowing and knowing are two different things.

Every week we sing music that bears testimony to who God is but how do we sing it?
These songs are beautiful and encouraging when we sing them giving mental acquiescence to the text – yes, God is a mighty fortress, or You are my strength when I am weak.

But what happens when our experiences have brought us to a place of knowing what that really means; when our singing of “A mighty fortress is our God” or “You are my All in All” comes from a heart that is affirming “Amen” I know this to be true?

We then may find ourselves singing with Chris Tomlin’s song “How can I keep from singing your praise? How can I never say enough, how amazing is your love? How can I keep from shouting your name? I know I am loved by the King and that makes my heart want to sing”.
Perhaps his inspiration came from Psalms 28 where we read, “The Lord is my strength and my shield from every danger. I trust in him with all my heart. He helps me, and my heart is filled with joy. I burst out in songs of thanksgiving!”

“My heart is confident in you, O God; no wonder I can sing your praises!” (Psalms 108:1)

This is what I know with that kind of knowledge that is complete.

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