The beauty of God’s omniscience

By Jenna Ebener

I was on an airplane and the pilot announced we were at 10,000 feet. I chuckled to myself as I realized I have hiked well above 10,000 feet in the mountains. Gazing out the window and seeing how tiny the land looked, it was fascinating to think I had hiked that high while outside. We continued to climb upwards until we were steady at 30,000 feet. I imagined the people who make the treacherous climb up Mount Everest, which is 29,000 feet high. It is hard to believe that humans can survive at that height outside.

I am in awe of our God who gave humans both the ingenuity to create airplanes that fly miles above the earth and to find a way to brave the elements at that same height. In reality, even the view at 30,000 feet is nothing compared to God’s view. I imagine what it is like for God to view us. He sees all of us at once in every moment of our life. It is so hard to grasp what that must be like. God is all-knowing and all-powerful. He knows everything about us and our world: past, present and future.

Something I heard during a retreat made me see God’s omniscience in an interesting light. When Jesus was dying for all of us on the cross, he cried out “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” (Matthew 27:46). In that moment, Jesus was feeling the weight of the world’s sin.

Every sin humans had and will have committed were on Jesus’ shoulders because he too is all-knowing. Jesus was also feeling all of the times when humans treat each other with love. While hanging on that cross, he saw the love that we humans have to offer. He saw every time that the beatitudes had been and will be lived out. He saw neighbors helping neighbors and neighbors helping strangers. He saw enemies reconciling and “ordinary” people pushing for change. He saw us treating each other with dignity and compassion. He saw every time we have imitated him. He saw all of these actions and more and was consoled. He saw a people worth saving and he was able to say, “Father, into your hands I commend my spirit”! (Luke 23:46).

Since God knows everything that is going to happen in every moment of our being, time has no meaning for him. I have realized that there is a beautiful benefit to this omniscience. I remember hearing about an accident but not the outcome. I have then taken that uncertainty as an opportunity to plead to God. For even if I was not able to pray for that person at the moment that accident happened, since God knows everything, he knew that I would be praying for that person eventually. I have no doubt that God heard those prayers even if I initially thought they might be too late. This revelation has provided me with a great deal of comfort. For nothing is ever “too late” for our God. “O Lord, you have searched me and you know me. You know when I sit and when I rise; you perceive my thoughts from afar” (Psalm 139:1-2).

(Jenna Ebener graduated in 2015 with a Master of Social Work from St. Ambrose University in Davenport.)

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