Psalms 142:4 “I looked on my right hand, and beheld, but there was no man that would know me….”
Men are microcosms or little worlds! They are as mysterious as the stars we gaze at on a clear night. I may know you, yet not really know you. You may know me, yet not really know me. Each person is in a little world or a microcosm of his own, unknown by others! I may know you to some extent; but alone we are born, alone we will live, and alone we die. We are unknown by everybody. No one really knows you!
People often ask, “How do you figure out a woman?” “How do you figure out a man?” The truth is, you cannot because we really do not know each other. Now here is a truth that is truly startling—we really do not even know our own selves!
There are hundreds of parts in your body that you cannot name. There are many parts of your body that you do not know exist. Most of us know very little about ourselves; thus, it is no wonder that we do not know each other.
Mysteries exist within my own bosom, abysses I have never explored. I do not even know myself, and the more I learn, it seems the less I know.
The more I learn about the universe, the less I know. The more I learn about people, the less I seem to know. The more I learn about myself, the less I seem to know.
The cook knows not how to satisfy his own hunger. The optometrist cannot see the way. The doctor wonders about his own health. The counselor seeks and needs advice. The banker frets about his finances. The attorney gets into legal trouble. The plumber has leaky pipes. The mechanic has a broken-down car. The judge is arrested. The guide loses his way. The teacher needs to learn. Regardless of our accomplishments, not one of us really knows himself.
You and I are going to have to suffer by ourselves, and that is why people have hurt feelings. They keep looking for someone to feel their hurt, and they cannot find what they are seeking.
We must realize that we suffer alone. Every shoulder bears its own load. No one can enter into my Gethsemane. I must climb my own Mt. Pisgah and suffer alone at my own Calvary. Nobody knows my Gethsemane!
When I go to Gethsemane, I go alone, and so do you. When I go to Mt. Pisgah, I go alone, and so do you. When I go to Calvary, I go alone, and so do you. In the final analysis, each of us suffers by himself. The old spiritual is right, “Nobody knows the trouble I’ve seen…nobody knows my sorrows.”
Are you like me? Have you ever said to yourself, “If they only knew me?” An example of this is when people hear my preaching. Someone says, “I really like your preaching…the way you let them have it!” Someone else says, “My pastor is the loving kind!” Another says, “That preacher is cocky!” Then I say to myself, “I feel like some are great theologians and great preachers, yet all I can do is holler!” I say this because I do not know myself.
You do not know yourself, and I do not know myself. I also do not know you. Because I do not know you, I do not know your bitterness, pain, sorrow, or burden. Because we do not understand our own selves or each other, we are destined to clash. Instead, let’s give each other a break and understand that we do not understand!
If each of us knew why the other fellow acts the way he acts, we would be a whole lot easier on each other. I do not know why the elderly lady is so peevish. I do not know why the dad is quick-tempered. I do not know why the baby cries. I do not know why the teacher is so mean. I do not know why the mother is so fussy.
We cringe at the slammed door, harsh look, quick revenge, cold shoulder, snubbed nose, hard eyes, clenched fist—but if we knew the reason behind them, we might be a little easier on the people who commit these offenses.
We are so prone to neglect to look beyond the temper, the angry look, the cold shoulder, the hard eyes, and the snobbery. Maybe the elderly, peevish lady is lonely. Maybe the quick-tempered dad is having financial problems, the crying baby is colicky, the mean teacher has burdens, the fussy mother has mood swings, or the weepy student is homesick.
That is why the wise man said to his son, “You will have to suffer alone, my son!” No one will completely understand you and your suffering.
Think of what Jesus suffered! No drop of gall was too bitter for His mouth. No room was darker than the room our Lord entered. All the thorns that prick you this morning pricked His brow on Calvary. He knows your pain! He knows your burden!
When He sees you laugh, it thrills Him. When He sees joy on your face, it tickles Him. We do not understand ourselves or each other; but thank God we can go to Jesus, Who understands each and all of us. That pain you feel, He felt! That sorrow you feel, He felt! That burden you bear, He bore! That thorn that pricks you pricked Him too!
By the way, He was not preoccupied with His own self. He gave and continues to give Himself to your pain, burden, sorrow, thorn, and heartache. Oprah Winfrey called Him an “egotist.” No, sir!
We should give each other the benefit of the doubt. We should understand there is a reason behind people’s reactions. We should understand that kindness is always right.
However, when all is said and done, only Jesus really understands. You will never know my sorrow, my pain, my heartache; nor will I ever know yours completely. Praise God, there is Someone Who understands!