Have you ever had an, “If I only knew,” moment? The kind of moment that you look back at something wishing you would have known ahead of time so you could have done something different.
If I only knew that buying furniture on credit as a young couple would spiral into a mess of credit card debt, I would have….
If I only knew that the company I worked for was going to downsize this year, I would have….
If I only knew that my friend would be shot and killed today, I would have…..
If I only knew that the children in that neighborhood didn’t have shoes, I would have….
If I only knew that there was a need in ministry for this, I would have….
If I only knew that God was leading me in this direction, I would have…
If I only knew my kids were feeling this way, I would have….
Life would look different if we had some crystal ball or mirror we could look into and see the future, but that’s just a Disney movie. But God can see what is, was, and will be, for each of us.
Have I not commanded you?
“Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the LORD your God will be with you wherever you go.” Joshua 1:9 NIV
“Do not be afraid, for I have ransomed you. I have called you by name; you are mine. When you go through deep waters, I will be with you. When you go through rivers of difficulty, you will not drown. When you walk through the fire of oppression, you will not be burned up; the flames will not consume you. For I am the LORD, your God, the Holy One of Israel, your Savior. From eternity to eternity I am God. No one can snatch anyone out of my hand. No one can undo what I have done.” Isaiah 43:1-3, 13 NLT
“O Lord, you have examined my heart and know everything about me. You know when I sit down or stand up. You know my thoughts even when I’m far away. You see me when I travel, and when I rest at home. You know everything I do. You know what I am going to say even before I say it, Lord. You go before me and follow me. You place your hand of blessing on my head. Such knowledge is too wonderful for me, too great for me to understand!” Psalms 139:1-6 NLT
God knows our struggles, the struggles of others, and also what each of us needs. He sent his son, Jesus to the earth to live a life as human, yet as God, to reconcile us to his purpose for eternity. Jesus told the woman at the well, “If you only knew the gift God has for you and who you are speaking to, you would ask me, and I would give you living water.” (John 4:10 NLT) When the woman at the well discovered that she was in the presence of the Son of God, the Messiah, she and many in her village became believers.
13 for, “Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.”
14 How, then, can they call on the one they have not believed in? And how can they believe in the one of whom they have not heard? And how can they hear without someone preaching to them? 15 And how can anyone preach unless they are sent? As it is written: “How beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news!” (Romans 10:13-15 NIV)
It is my responsibility as a Christian, (and of every Christian) to make sure others ‘know’ the story of Jesus. To listen to the life stories of others so I know what is going on in their life, how/what to pray for, how I might help them and how to connect God’s story with them. It’s my responsibility to know what’s going on in my neighborhood, what’s going on in the schools, what’s going on in the ministries and the lives of my friends by asking critical questions often.
We must put aside the excuses of saying…
IF WE ONLY KNEW
Written by Jeff Shicks, Executive Director at Youth for Christ, Nashville, TN. To find out more about Jeff or Youth for Christ, visit www.nashvilleyfc.org.