‘Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? Yet not one of them will fall to the ground outside your Father’s care. And even the very hairs of your head are all numbered. So don’t be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows.’ Matthew 10: 29-31
When I was about 9 or 10 years old, I went to a Scripture Union camp in Ovoca Manor, as many children growing up in Christian families, in Ireland, have done. In the little tuck shop there, I used to love buying Tic Tacs and Daim bars with my pocket money. During this particular time a book called ‘God Knows My Size!’, by Silvia Tarniceriu, caught my eye and I splashed out! Regrettably, I have since misplaced this book, and have always kept an eye out for it anytime we’ve moved with the hope of coming across it again. But I have never forgotten the impact one particular story in the book had on me.
The whole book was really inspiring to me and I read it multiple times. It was the biography of a young 13 year old girl growing up in communist Romania. Silvia grew up in a poor Christian family in an environment where to be a Christian was to be persecuted and discriminated against. As a young girl, living in tough circumstances and seeing how her family made a lot of sacrifices due to being Christians, Silvia really struggled with believing that there was a God and wanted to find out if He really existed.
So one night after really going through an internal struggle wondering, ‘Is God real?’, Silvia prayed and asked Him to reveal Himself to her. A very simple, childlike prayer. She asked God to send her a pair of new shoes. This would have been impossible for her family to buy and being one of many children in the family, Silvia never owned new ‘anything’.
Not only did God answer her prayer and carry out the impossible in a touching and loving way, but Silvia was amazed to discover that the shoes fit her perfectly. In her earnest she had forgotten to tell God her shoe size! In absolute disbelief and pure joy she couldn’t stop exclaiming, “God knows my size! God knows my size!”
That miracle showed Silvia not only that God was real, but that He cared enough to demonstrate this to her- a little girl, and that she was so precious to Him that He knew her inside out. He knew every last detail- He knew her shoe size! That revelation stirred and began a lifetime of devotion to her Abba. Silvia went on to be a witness for Christ in the toughest of conditions. She went through torture, prison sentences, and constant persecution, yet throughout it all, God never failed to carry her, to uphold her strength, and to work miracle after miracle to release her from the harshest of conditions and the dangers that surrounded her. Her faith was utterly devoted in Christ and He used her to challenge and convert the persecutors, and to break down barriers and pour God’s love into the unloved and unloving.
Throughout it all, God never forgot her size!
I was so struck by that line when I read Silvia’s story. I remember being very moved by it and reading that part over and over again to let it sink in. Since then, over the years, that line has always stuck with me.
There is more to it than the fact that God knows our size; that He knows us inside out. David wrote on this so beautifully in Psalm 139.
'You have searched me, Lord, and you know me. You know when I sit and when I rise; you perceive my thoughts from afar. You discern my going out and my lying down; you are familiar with all my ways. Before a word is on my tongue you, Lord, know it completely. You hem me in behind and before, and you lay your hand upon me. Such knowledge is too wonderful for me, too lofty for me to attain. Where can I go from your Spirit? Where can I flee from your presence? If I go up to the heavens, you are there; if I make my bed in the depths, you are there. If I rise on the wings of the dawn, if I settle on the far side of the sea, even there your hand will guide me, your right hand will hold me fast.' Psalm 139: 1-10
Recently I have come to realise that God knows me better than I know myself. That sounds obvious, but I hadn’t really had that revelation with such clarity before.
What I mean is, we know ourselves to a point. We know better than anyone else what experiences we have been through, what lessons we have learned along the way, what we like, what we don’t like, what moves us, what we need healing from, what inspires us, what our story is, who we have been, who we are…
But he KNOWS us. He created us. He knows our deeper most inner parts. He knows our very souls. He knows our spirit. He doesn’t just know who we were, and who we are. He knows WHO WE ARE BECOMING. He knows our capabilities. He knows our strengths and our weaknesses. He knows our potential. He knows what future challenges we will face and therefore He knows our needs before we know them ourselves.
He knows our size now. He knew our size then. And He knows our sizes for the future.
Taking all of this into account, with the limited knowledge I have, how can I truly know what is best for my life? How can I know what I will need? How can I know what I will desire? I can have an idea or rough outline. But I don’t KNOW. And that’s where relinquishing control to our Father provides the ultimate FREEDOM. In holding onto control, I am actually restricting myself. In thinking logically, in strategizing and hypothesizing, I am doing a great job of restricting God!
I recently prayed to God about something close to my heart and for the first time, I didn’t restrict it to my ideas of what was best. I said to God, ‘I don’t know what I need. I don’t know what I want. I don’t know what I will need or want. I can’t figure it out and in fact, I’m just confused. Because I can’t see what You can see. I don’t know me as deeply as You know me. I don’t know what is best for me. But I know that You know. And I know You want what is best for me. I don’t want to get in the way of Your work. So, God, I’m not going to ask for X, Y, Z. I trust that since You know what is best for me, I can leave it to You to guide me to Your best. And I ask You to open my eyes in case I don’t recognise it.’
God knows my size. I don’t!
I found that prayer so freeing. I was literally handing it over to my Father in its entirety and not holding back anything for myself to manage. I didn’t realise I had been doing that in the past, but retrospect is a great thing!
The amazing thing, is that God wants His best for us. He wants us to relinquish that control and to let our faith have no boundaries, so that He is given the space to create the impossible. He is the ultimate Artist. The ultimate Creator. The ultimate Innovator. He has the ultimate imagination.
But another key point is this.
Our only job in all of this is to love the Creator. To love the Giver. To love the Artist.
To serve Him alone.
Silvia did this with all her heart. Her whole life was devoted to serving her Lord. And hers was a life which bore so much fruit and still is. She was completely dedicated to the cause and to the calling placed on her life. In return, she had the ultimate freedom. She saw God’s hand on her life and had the privilege of walking in deep relationship with Him.
I want pursue Him with all my heart and to experience the ultimate freedom that is only found in Christ.
'Now until forever Jesus, I surrender Show me what I don't know More of You I'm desperate for Your presence Longing to be with You Lead me to a new place More of You ... Lead me to You, Forever, Lord, I will pursue I will pursue You've won my heart Jesus, You're all that I want All that I want ... All I need is You All I need is You, Lord, Is You, Lord' ❤ (Pursue/ All I Need is You - Hillsong Worship)