by Jayme Durant *
Several years ago, a dear friend had a severe heart attack and nearly died. Because of the severity of the attack, he went without oxygen for some time—too long—and he experienced lasting brain damage. His life has taken a detour from his long-held dreams, expectations, and plans. Instead of a comfortable suburban existence with a wife and four honor-student children, he now faces daily battles that he never imagined on those drives to the local high school where he was greatly respected as a highly successful coach and teacher.
One of his struggles today is in the area of memory loss. After his trauma, he couldn’t remember the most impactful events of his life—not even his children’s births. During the days, weeks, and months of his recovery, his wife told him the stories of the difficult pregnancies and deliveries, her father’s death, and their own wedding. He experienced the birth of each child with fresh joy, the death of his father-in-law with overwhelming first-time grief, and the story of his blissful courtship with his bride of over 20 years.
As a biology teacher, he had been accustomed to understanding sophisticated information and communicating sometimes very complex knowledge to high school students. In those former days, he was adept at performing detailed experiments in the science lab. However, after the heart attack and even today, years later, he encounters daily moments of frustration as he deals with his “new normal” life with limitations—a life now altered by cognitive disabilities.
But even with his limited intellectual ability, he has a profound grasp of spiritual truth. In one particularly poignant moment of worship during a church service, he turned a tear-streaked face to his wife and said, “I know Jesus. And there’s no greater thing.” This sweet believer was now limited in his understanding, even downright slow in comprehending daily tasks, but he understood that he knew the most important thing to know about life. He knew His Lord and Savior Jesus Christ—and there was no greater thing to know in all of life.
When I read Dr. Henry Morris III’s article, “Willingly Ignorant,” I was reminded of my friend. While my friend cherished every moment of getting to know Jesus all over again, there are those who take that opportunity for granted. They may have the intellectual capacity to win Nobel prizes and lecture about quantum mechanics, yet they willfully choose to not know the God of the universe. They choose ignorance.
My friend would give anything to put a complete thought together in a conversation or to remember precious memories of the past or to balance a bank account, while secular scholars have chosen to live in darkened understanding, unable to comprehend the truths of Scripture because they reject the God of creation.
Dr. Morris reminds us that we’re all faced with clearly seen truths in Scripture and in creation. One simple truth is that willful ignorance yields a life of isolation from the One we were created to know and to worship. But even in the silence of separation from our creator God, we have been offered the opportunity to know Him through witnessing His work in creation and through the testimony of His Word.
I can’t say that I want to go through what my friend went through or what he continues to encounter. But I recognize the value of his simple approach to life now and the wisdom he possesses in treasuring his opportunity to know Jesus and his comprehension that knowing Jesus is the greatest thing of all.
* Jayme Durant is Executive Editor at the Institute for Creation Research.
Cite this article: Durant, J. 2013. Knowing Jesus. Acts & Facts. 42 (3): 4.