“10 I want to know Christ and the power of his resurrection and the fellowship of sharing in his sufferings, becoming like him in his death,11 and so, somehow, to attain to the resurrection from the dead.”
For whatever reason, these verses have been dancing around in my head for the last few days. The first five words really sums up Paul’s heart, and mine, too. I want to KNOW Christ. To really, really know Him! The Greek word for “know” used here is one that implies an intimate knowledge, like that of a husband and wife. Paul wanted to know all the intricate details of Jesus’ nature. Some would say that he already did know Him that closely, but Paul wasn’t satisfied…he wanted more.
I have an elementary education degree (which I’m not using…don’t be mad, Dad!), and to get that degree, I had to study all of the different theories of learning…yawn. But to sum it all up nice and neat, there are really two types of learning: passive and active. Passive learning is exactly what you’d think. It is reading, listening, and watching. Some people are passive learners, but the majority are active learners. This type involves doing and experimenting. The theory behind active learning is that people learn the topic beyond just facts and figures, but then know how to apply that knowledge to other subjects and can teach it to others…that’s how complete the learning can be.
I think that’s another good way of looking at the word “know” in this verse. Whether it’s patience, faith, forgiveness, mercy, gentleness…what better way to teach us about the very character of Christ than by making us apply them to our lives? It becomes so much more than “head knowledge”.
This type of learning also involves trial and error, by the way. And that’s why, no matter what you do, you can’t seem to escape tragedy, betrayal, sickness, and death. Because He is still teaching us, still giving us intimate glances into who He is. A gift, in light of our present troubles.
I so desperately want to know Him! I want to have His heart, His mind, His Spirit!And I honestly do usually feel closer to Him when I’m suffering. I think He comes close to me in those times, like a kiss on my forehead…
When I keep this verse in the front of my mind, it makes the day I’m in take on a new meaning. It’s no longer just pain, or just frustration. It’s an opportunity for him to expose Himself to us…and it’s a lesson. So study Him!! KNOW Him!!!