There’s a lot of misunderstanding going around these days. Maybe it comes from trying to present all of our ideas and opinions in soundbites. And thinking that others’ soundbite-replies represent the totality of their thinking. Can’t it be frustrating trying to make others understand?
No one else has your background, your personality, your relationships, and your sources of information all bundled up in one person. They can’t possibly see the world through your eyes.
And that’s never more lonely than when others don’t understand our pain.
There are a lot of deeds done in secret. A lot of injustices perpetrated in the dark. A lot of people suffering in silence.
Sometimes, our suffering is so deep we feel like we’ll never be able to breathe again. And we don’t want to talk about it, because no one could possibly understand.
Other times, our brain keeps telling us our suffering is shallow; it’s no big deal. Plenty of people are suffering more than us, right? But it still feels deep. And we don’t want to talk about it, because it seems so insignificant, and no one could possibly understand (and if they could, they’d probably think we were so weak).
We yearn for someone to just understand us.
That’s why one of my favorite Bible verses is a short sentence at the end of Exodus chapter 2. At the time, the Israelites were in slavery. They were oppressed. They were hated. They were forced to work in grueling conditions for no pay. They had no political voice. And their baby boys were legally murdered.
They groaned under the weight of their suffering. They cried out for help and rescue. And when it seemed like no one could possibly hear them,
God saw the people of Israel – and God knew. (Exodus 2:25, ESV)
It’s that simple. God saw. God knew. And the chapter ends there.
But the seeing and knowing of God sets off a chain of events that leads to the greatest rescue story of all time, second only to the gospel, where a million people escape from the most powerful nation on earth, walk on dry land through the middle of a sea, safely traverse enemy territory, are fed by manna that mysteriously appears for them every morning, drink water that gushes out of a rock, receive commands from the living God, and conquer a promised land dominated by idol-worshipers who are much stronger and more numerous than they are.
God saw exactly what no one else could see. And He knew – completely, accurately, profoundly – what no one else could know. In other words, God understood.
He understands us, too. Even when we don’t understand Him or what He’s doing.
What is painful for you today? What is confusing? What is frustrating? What does it feel like no one else understands?
God sees. And God knows.
How has God shown you He understands? Leave a comment below.
Know someone who would be encouraged by this today? Please share!
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