I remember lying awake as a child wondering how God could have no beginning or end. It boggled my mind. Everything in my known experience had a mother and father or had started from somewhere. But God went back forever. This truth blew me away. Now as an adult, I am still mystified that God goes back forever. This is only the beginning of the mysteries that amaze me about God.
Some things that the Bible teaches about God are hard to understand. In fact, the Bible says that we only know certain things “in part” (1 Corinthians 13:9). This is not to say that we are completely ignorant of God. Or that our current knowledge is somehow insufficient. We know enough, and what we know brings us joy inexpressible. I compare this incomplete knowledge to my knowledge of my personal computer. I know how to turn it on, get on the internet, use the word processor, and play with the photo shop. I know enough to be amazed at the technology. However, I have no real idea how it does the things that it does. How information goes through the processor and what a gigabyte is and how it is stored on a microchip is beyond me. I don’t even know if they still use microchips. My knowledge of my computer is incomplete, but I enjoy it all the same.
With God, I know enough to know that I must know more. I have no real desire to know more about my personal computer; I can use it as I need to for now. Knowing God is an imperative. I want to know more of Him. He is my source of joy and strength and encouragement and life and love and all. The more I learn, the more mysteries I run into that convince me that He is greater than all I have ever imagined or can imagine.
When the Bible declares that God is One Being and yet three persons, some people are ready to abandon the faith for something more manageable. It is perplexing as to how God the Holy Spirit is fully God, not part God, and yet He is not God the Father or God the Son. God the Father is also fully God, and yet He is neither the Son nor the Spirit. These three are One God, equal in essence but different in person. I am so happy that this is so. I can feel that refreshing, child-like wonder that I felt on the day that I learned that God had no beginning. It makes me wax poetic and ask, “Oh God, to what shall I compare Thee?” The reason I have no category for God’s Triune nature is because there is simply nothing like God nor can there be. God is completely unique. He is totally outside any other thing in my experience, and I see Him through a veil, hidden from complete seeing and knowing.
I think also of the mystery of the passion of Jesus Christ. Jesus Christ, the God who is man, and conversely, the man who is God. What a staggering statement. Even now as I wish to convey to you the truth of it, I find myself stammering for words. (How aggravating it is to be struck dumb over things about which I should sing most clearly!) I think of Jesus, the Holy One, sweating drops of blood and crying out to be delivered from the cup of God’s wrath: the cup which He was destined to bear, the cup which He left heaven to partake of. Yet, I see Him flinch. Is it real fear that I find in Luke 22:41-44? Does Jesus tremble only in His humanity, or did God flinch that day? I cannot see past the mystery of that veil, and yet the more I dwell on it, the more I know that that place, that time, that moment is most holy. Battle was waged in that moment. A battle whose outcome would affect the earth, the angels, the galaxy and all of creation. In one trembling, sweat-soaked moment Jesus proved Himself Savior and King of the universe. One moment of many that Jesus had while on earth. He rose and set His face toward Calvary, choosing to endure that pain of death and the weight of sin over His temptation to ease.
These mysteries are real, and they are a gift. How sad it would be if Jesus were only a man like me, and how disappointing if God were such that I could completely know Him. In some ways, Jesus was indeed a man like me. But in others, Jesus was more a man than I will ever be. Our difference lies not in the fact that He wasn’t human, it lies in the fact that I am less human than He. My humanness is fallen; His was not. I am less than I ought to be, that is why I have never sweat drops of blood over sin.
In short, it does not upset me that I do not fully understand all of the things which God has revealed in His Word. There are many mysteries which I have not even mentioned here, and there are multitudes more that I have yet to discover. Far from upsetting me, I have come to cherish and to expect them. I meditate upon them with great pleasure.
As I meditate, I do not attempt merely to understand these mysteries for knowledge’s sake as I once did. I once sought answers to the questions because I wanted to make perfect sense of God. I thought that theology meant finding out all the answers, and if I could not answer something, then I had failed. This is not the case. I certainly do not have to know all of the answers, and I can say with great joy that I know that God is Trinity, but I do not understand fully how this can be. Instead, I now meditate on the Trinity with wonder, hoping that God will more fully draw me into this mystery of how great and magnificent and unique and astounding that He is. I want to see more that will cause me to marvel. Answers are not the only things that thrill me, I greatly enjoy the mysteries as well. Besides, I have found that answers to my questions are often doors to greater mysteries!
I have two hopes in writing this short article. One is that you may see how I love the Mystery of God. The second is so that you can know that mystery is good, and that it is not shameful not to fully understand. Seek God, and the answers will come. Seek Him in the Scriptures, for that is the only place that these mysteries are revealed.
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