This week I have been thinking about the 1951 Alistair Sim classic version of Dickens’, A Christmas Carol. In particular, I have thought about the scene where Scrooge makes it to Christmas morning, having encountered the three Christmas spirits in the night. He is giddy and sing-songy, and in his elation he confesses to his housekeeper, Mrs. Dilber, this newly realized truth: “I don't know anything. I never did know anything; but now I know that I don't know anything.”
As I approach my 59th birthday (November 17), I am understanding that sentiment more and more each day. How very little I know. I don't know anything! And what a terrible burden is lifted off with that confession — the burden of thinking that I actually know anything (or that I even have to know anything).
The gospel does speak of a certain kind of knowledge. Not the knowledge of facts and figures or concepts or principles, but the knowledge of God the Father through Jesus the Son. It is the intimate knowing of someone else that comes through relationship with that person. It is the deepest, most intense kind of knowledge. And ultimately, it is the only knowledge that matters. “This is eternal life,” Jesus prayed in the Garden of Gethsemane, “that they may know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom You have sent” (John 17:3). Knowing Christ is knowing life itself.
In his wonderful pastoral prayer in Ephesians 1, Paul prays for those who believe in Jesus, that the Father would give us wisdom and revelation so that we may know Him — essentially that we may know Him more and more. Truth is personal, which is to say, it is a Person. Jesus said, “I am … the Truth” (John 14:6). To know Him is to know all that is needed.
So, here I stand now, not knowing anything, before the God who knows everything. He cares not that I know nothing but He bathes me in His love. And now I am free to learn everything. What a wonderful relief as I journey into the next seasons of my life.