IT is a beauteous evening, calm and free,
The holy time is quiet as a Nun
Breathless with adoration; the broad sun
Is sinking down in its tranquillity;
The gentleness of heaven broods o’er the sea:
Listen! the mighty Being is awake,
And doth with his eternal motion make
A sound like thunder–everlastingly.
Dear Child! dear Girl! that walkest with me here,
If thou appear untouch’d by solemn thought,
Thy nature is not therefore less divine:
Thou liest in Abraham’s bosom all the year;
And worshipp’st at the Temple’s inner shrine,
God being with thee when we know it not.
–by William Wordsworth (1770-1850)
I’ve been missing the gentleness of life lately. When is the last time I had a really gentle thought? When have the conversations in our house been quiet and peaceful, completely lacking in sarcasm or discontent? Why don’t I have these moments of calm, holy times quiet as a Nun, when the gentleness of heaven broods o’er the sea? We went to a small beach today, just to do something different. The girls enjoyed playing in the sand, but I was uptight because one of them waded too far and got water in her rain boots, and my son laid around on the merry-go-round, clearly not enjoying himself.
If the second part of the poem is correct (and I don’t think the theology is quite right), then my lack of feeling gentle does not mean God’s gentleness is far from me. It seems as if I constantly have to be reminded that God doesn’t leave me alone. He’s there, even when I don’t think He is. Well, then. I go through these ungentle stages of life. But the higher reality is always there, always gentle, always brooding o’er my present time.
In the last two meetings of my ladies’ Bible study, we learned about God’s wisdom in the book of Proverbs. Last Sunday, in adult Sunday School we learned about God’s foreknowledge. I was surprised to find out that the definitions of God’s wisdom and God’s foreknowledge are nearly the same. God’s wisdom is Jesus Christ, and true wisdom for His people is knowing Jesus Christ. God’s foreknowledge is God’s plan to save His covenant-people. Wisdom and foreknowledge are both about relationships! I would not have come up with that answer on my own. I would have said they were about WHAT you know, not WHO you know.
So, to say it another way, a wise person knows Christ, and this is an intimate “know.” A wise person has the mind of Christ. Ideally, that’s an even closer relationship than husband/wife.
And foreknowledge is what God knows about our relationship with Him, which is everything. He chose us to be part of His covenant. He chose to love us. He chose to save us. He chose to save us through Jesus Christ. He chose to bring us to Himself in all eternity. (Time is different in heaven; He already knows what it’s like to have me there.)
So can a truly wise person see into the future? Sort of. A truly wise person already knows the ultimates in life through the eye of his soul (i.e., faith), even if he can’t see the specifics of the future through his physical eyes. I suppose a truly wise person wouldn’t need/want to see the specifics of the future in this world. He is already living more in the higher reality of the Kingdom of God.
It puts things in perspective to realize that God’s plan has already been accomplished in that higher reality. We live day-to-day in this world, and it gets to be pretty important to us, but the important things are happening outside of our earthly knowledge.