I think we all might be tempted to wonder sometimes if in the grand scheme of things, God really sees us, knows us and can be bothered about what bothers us.
The following account from scripture intrigues me. I can just see the scene unfold before my eyes.
“How do you know about me?” Nathanael asked. Jesus replied, “I could see you under the fig tree before Philip found you.”
John 1:48 NLT
I happen to have a special fondness of fig trees from my childhood. As a matter of fact, I spent a bit of time sitting under them myself in my grandparent’s backyard.
As is always the case with Bible study, in order to really understand a verse it is best to also read what comes before and what follows after. In the prior verses, you see the account of some of Jesus’ first disciples. In verse 23 Jesus calls Phillip. Phillip answers that call. In verse 25 Phillip shares this glorious good news, that he has found the one they’ve all been looking for, with his friend Nathanael. Nathanael is skeptical, to say the very least.
“Nazareth!” exclaimed Nathanael. “Can anything good come from Nazareth?” “Come and see for yourself,” Philip replied.
John 1:46 NLT
Nevertheless , even with serious doubts, Nathanael is willing to go and see. Did you notice what I just said? EVEN WITH SERIOUS DOUBTS, he is still willing to go and see.
Look, if you’re waiting until you are absolutely, 100% sure before you are willing to try, you’ll likely never move from right where you are – seated under that fig tree or in front of that computer screen or on that couch or in that comfort zone you’ve settled into.
“As they approached, Jesus said, “Now here is a genuine son of Israel—a man of complete integrity.””
John 1:47 NLT
Wow! That’s quite amazing to me. Jesus called him a man of complete integrity. Other translations say he is a man without deceit. And yet, he had doubts, serious doubts. He actually scoffed right out loud.
When our faith wavers, when we can’t bring ourselves to believe, when we are struggling to understand, take heart, take courage. Don’t quit trying, searching, seeking.
God knows exactly who values truth and who is willing to seek out that truth. It is a good thing to take a first step, even when it is taken with hesitation on our part.
It’s on those faith journeys that we find ourselves marveling that He knows about us and saw us even before we turned His way. This truth grips my heart and squeezes until tears appear in my eyes.
“How do you know about me?” We might ask like Nathanael did. The answer is that God is aware. He is aware of you. He is aware of me. He is aware even before the first steps of the faith journey begins.
Whether you have never met Him or perhaps you have met Him many times before, let me be the friend, like Phillip, who says come and see! Jesus is calling. Come and see for yourself.
Stephanie Rodda is a freelance writer, blogger and inspirational speaker who attends New Life Church.