I was sitting across from my pastor at his desk in the church office. I was 18 years old, had one semester of college under my belt and was looking forward to heading back to college for my second semester. There was one thing standing in my way, though – MONEY! Costs were adding up, scholarships were not covering all the expenses and the funds just weren’t there. I didn’t know how the bills would be paid but I was trusting God to provide.
My dad, who was the minister of music at our church, had previously discussed the matter with the pastor, and as I was visiting him at the church one afternoon, the pastor called me into his office. We sat down and he picked up the phone. The next thing I knew, he was talking to the college financial aid office, throwing around names and voila! my tuition was covered. After hanging up the phone, my pastor looked over his desk at me and said, “You see, Karen, it’s not what you know in this life; it’s who you know.” I was so very glad to know Rev. Bobby Moye that day!
I have always loved to learn. Being a good student was a priority for me and being the top student was my goal (though I didn’t always meet that mark). Knowledge was my strength but that afternoon in my pastor’s office, I learned that it takes more than just my merits, accomplishments and knowledge to make it in life. It takes the help of others to stand beside me, to provide where I cannot, to support and encourage me, to lighten my load of burdens, to cheer me up and to simply be there for me. Who I know is just as important as and many times more important than what I know.
The lesson of “not what you know but who you know” has stuck with me. I often quote my pastor and recall the truth of his words in the sticky situations of this life. In fact, recent events in my life have reaffirmed that truth and as I have been reflecting on my pastor’s words and thanking God for the people He has allowed me to know in my life, a greater truth has been revealed. While praying over the situation, I heard God softly whisper, “It’s not what you know, Karen; it’s WHO you know.”
Ever have those moments when you just want to shout for joy? That very moment was one of those times for me. You see, I can know the richest of the rich and they can help me in my financial crunches. I can know the strong and powerful and they can protect me from harm. I can know the socially elite and they can increase my standing in society. I can know all these people who can do all these things for me but what truly matters in my life is this one fact: I know God. He is the WHO that provides for my needs, makes a way when no way is in sight, heals me, protects me, works things for my good, goes before me, lifts me up, defeats the enemy, loves me and saves me. (Now that’s shout-worthy!)
God is the WHO that makes all the difference in my life and I am so very glad that I know Him. Even more, I am glad that He knows me! He knew me before I was a twinkle in my mother’s eye. He formed me in my mother’s womb. He knows the number of hairs that are on my head. He knows my innermost thoughts and the deepest desires of my heart. He knows my needs before I ask. He has plans for my life and He has made a way for me to live in eternity with Him one day. Who better to know than the One who knows me best!
My pastor was right. It’s not what you know in this life; it’s WHO you know and WHO knows you!
Psalm 139:1 – 14
1 You have searched me, Lord, and you know me.
2 You know when I sit and when I rise; you perceive my thoughts from afar.
3 You discern my going out and my lying down; you are familiar with all my ways.
4 Before a word is on my tongue you, Lord, know it completely.
5 You hem me in behind and before, and you lay your hand upon me.
6 Such knowledge is too wonderful for me, too lofty for me to attain.
7 Where can I go from your Spirit? Where can I flee from your presence?
8 If I go up to the heavens, you are there; if I make my bed in the depths, you are there.
9 If I rise on the wings of the dawn, if I settle on the far side of the sea,
10 even there your hand will guide me, your right hand will hold me fast.
11 If I say, “Surely the darkness will hide me and the light become night around me,”
12 even the darkness will not be dark to you; the night will shine like the day,
for darkness is as light to you.
13 For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb.
14 I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well.