You know the feeling of hanging out with someone who totally gets you? It’s relieving. You can let your guard down and be yourself because they understand the way you think.
But what about when someone misunderstands you? Not being understood is frustrating, hurtful, and isolating. Even worse is not understanding yourself—doing things, saying things, and feeling things without knowing why.
The cool thing is, God understands you. And he likes being understood too.
Understanding is a big reason Jesus told stories. His parables show that he understands you, can help you understand yourself, and help you understand God.
In Matthew 13, Jesus explains how his stories bring understanding.
“This is why I use these stories to teach the people: They see, but they don’t really see. They hear, but they don’t really hear or understand…Yes, the minds of these people are now closed. They have ears, but they don’t listen. They have eyes, but they refuse to see. If their minds were not closed, they might see with their eyes; they might hear with their ears; they might understand with their minds. Then they might turn back to me and be healed.’”
Matthew 13:13, 15 ERV
God wants you to see and understand him, to turn to him and find healing. But you can’t do that if you’re closed up. You have to open up to come close to God. And that’s where perhaps Jesus’ most famous story about understanding the heart, the Parable of the Sower, comes in.
Then Jesus used stories to teach them many things. He told them this story: “A farmer went out to sow seed.  While he was scattering the seed, some of it fell by the road. The birds came and ate all that seed.  …That is like the people who hear the teaching about God’s kingdom but do not understand it. The Evil One comes and takes away what was planted in their hearts.”
Matthew 13:3-4,19 ERV
Are you aware of the condition of our heart as you enter into your relationship with God? Whether your heart is hard, rocky, thorny, or soft, God wants to meet you where you are at. He understands you, and can help you get to a place where you can understand him too. Check out this week’s Mini Quiet Time to understand yourself better so you can understand God.