Real Help for Real Living: How many times did Jose Feliciano say “I know” in the song “Ain’t No Sunshine When She’s Gone?”

My favorite artist to sing “Ain’t No Sunshine When She’s Gone” is Jose Feliciano. Call me a hopeless romantic, but I love that song. I can still hear the violins kicking in as it moves into the second verse.

My dad hated the song. Actually, it wasn’t the song he didn’t like – he just couldn’t stand the chorus. There were two words that repeated over and over and over and… actually, it repeats 26 times. The two words are “I know.”

I was a sophomore in high school and had a crush on a girl named Nancy. We were in choir together. I was a bass and she sat in front of me in the alto section. She would always say, “Hi, Tony,” and my heart would melt. When she went to her next class, I wouldn’t see her again until the next day but I would continue to sing the song in my mind.

The words “I know” are powerful. As a young pastor, I had a parishioner who would say, “I know that I know that I know that God loves me.” It was my first church. I was still trying to find the bathrooms. In reality, while I was trying to figure out this thing called being a pastor, I missed the significance in what they were saying.

Fast forward to today – I am finally “getting it.” I’ve found myself in this past year camping on a scripture verse that says, “That you may have the power to comprehend with all the saints, what is the breadth, the length, the height and depth is the love of Christ.”

This verse intrigued me because it speaks of God’s love being four-dimensional. Yet you and I live in a three-dimensional world. I began to realize that I take an infinite God whose love is four-dimensional and squeeze him into our three-dimensional world. Let me continue.

The next verse says, “and to know this love that surpasses knowledge – that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.”

This verse also caught my attention. When I became a Christian, I was told the next step in my Christian journey was to study and understand doctrine and theology. If I could explain systematic theology, I had arrived. I graduated No. 1 when preparing for ministry. In the process, I missed something. This verse tells me to know this love that surpasses knowledge.

My prayer over the last few months is similar to the song “Ain’t No Sunshine When She’s Gone.” I want to know that I know that I know that I know that I know (I limit it to five times – not 26 as in the song) that God absolutely unconditionally loves me. I know that my salvation is based on the cross and the blood of Jesus that was shed there. I want it to go deeper – much deeper.

While all this has been stirring through my soul, I have a Christian friend who I asked this question; “How would it change your life if you absolutely knew beyond a shadow of a doubt that God absolutely and unconditionally loves you?” The individual got quiet and said, “It would change everything in my life.”

My prayer for you (and me) is simple, yet transformational. I pray that you will know that you know that you know that you know that you know that God loves you. The verse closes by saying, “that you may be filled to all the measure of the fullness of God.”

That is definitely “Good News.”

I’ll be back soon. Until then, live well, my friend.

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About Rev. Tony Marciano

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