Friday, March 17

Just Scratching the Surface

"Can you fathom the mysteries of God? Can you probe the limits of the Almighty?" --Job 11:7


When I was quite young, my family made a habit of attending the County Fair together. Our typical itinerary included a visit to the livestock barns, dinner from the Piggly Wiggly, a ride on the Super Slide with daddy, and lots and lots of walking through the merchant pavilions. Those pavilions full of people selling everything from kitchen knives that could slice through tire rubber to hand-crafted quilts. I don't think we ever actually bought anything, but it sure was fun to people watch while we nibbled on some Mackinaw Island fudge.

I recall one particular experience when I was about 6 or 7 years old. An encyclopedia salesman approached us and knelt down to my eye-level. Full of confidence, he challenged me to name the largest animal. "Brontosaurus", I responded. He laughed a bit then said he meant the largest animal that was still living. That was an easy question. Without skipping a beat I answered "blue whale." My dad still remembers how crestfallen the salesman was when he realized that he would not be selling any encyclopedias to the family of the little girl who ruined his entire sales pitch in one fell swoop.

Bright as I was, I truly had no knowledge of the blue whale much beyond that bit of trivia.

As Christians we find ourselves in a similar position when it comes to our knowledge of God. Those of us who have grown up attending church services may be able to respond quickly to the most basic questions about God. Sadly, some people satisfied with mere surface knowledge about God. Many don't even know where to begin to gain deeper insight into God's character and nature.

God's word, the Bible, is where we must start if we want to grow in knowledge and insight of our Creator. His mercy, His provision, and preservation of His people is not something that we can internalize just by showing up and warming a pew in church for an hour or two each week. When we spend time in His word, reflecting upon it and asking for wisdom from the Holy Spirit in understanding how to apply it to our lives, we develop more than just knowledge of God. Doing so helps us develop a relationship with Him.

Until we are in God's presence, we will not be able to fully understand or fathom the mystery of Him, but isn't it wonderful to know that we don't need to feel distant from Him because of it? God has provided ways for our feeble human minds to at least begin to know Him. Reading the Bible, communicating with Him through prayer, and spending time in fellowship with other Christians are all ways that we can do that.

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