Friday, July 8, 2011

“Mama, why can’t we see God?”

After spending a gorgeous, but very hot summer afternoon at the park followed by a rushed grocery shopping trip at a desperately crowded store, my two sons and I climbed in my hopelessly messy economy-beat-up car.  I still had to go fill up with over-priced gas to then go home and fix dinner.  Needless to say, I was running a bit low on more than gas.  As I was taking a turn to get out of the store’s parking lot, I hear my 5 ½ year old ask me, “Mama, why can’t we see God?”  Of course, like any normal, flustered Mother would do, I kindly replied, “WHAT?”  hoping that I had not heard him right, only to hear him repeat the same precious question in his delightfully childish voice, “why can’t we see God?  I knew I was in trouble then.

I managed to muster a very complicated answer trying to explain the mystery of the Trinity and how we will see God when Jesus returns since Jesus is the physical representation of God.  Then, my 9 year-old said, “yes, I think the only one who has ever seen God was Moses; but I think he didn’t really see Him, he just was in His presence or something.”  By then, my head was spinning and I was glad that I had finally pulled into the gas station.  The conversation, obviously, ended abruptly and we went home; but the thought remained.  My young son’s question lingered in my mind; but mostly, I felt a nagging feeling of inadequacy.  I did not provide my little boy with an appropriate answer and that really bothered me.  That should never happen.  We are commanded to “…revere Christ as Lord.”  And to  “always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that [we] have. But do this with gentleness and respect.” (1 Peter 3:15)  I tell you, I revere Christ as Lord with all my heart; but I was not prepared to give any answer to my little inquisitive boy; and I felt ashamed.  I don’t want to be caught off guard again.  How do I get prepared?

After days meditating about this, the Holy Spirit was my only reply.  It is only the Holy Spirit who can provide the correct answers to the questions others may ask us.  And ask they will!  It is only by consciously and deliberately putting ourselves in the hands of the Holy Spirit and by asking Him to speak for us and use us to communicate His message to those inquiring souls, that we may have a chance at providing a coherent response.  We must never depend on our own knowledge or believe that we have the wisdom to respond on our won.  Only He can reveal Himself to those He chooses.  Humility is the key in this respect.  That doesn’t mean, however, that we give up and say, “well, I got nothin’ to do here…God will give me the words when & where I need them.”  I don’t know about you, but God is not in the habit of speaking in an audible voice to me personally.  He does speak to me all the time, however!  He speaks to me through His Holy Word contained in the Bible.  I firmly believe that studying the Bible is the greatest tool we have at our disposal “for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness.” (2 Timothy 3:16)  Therefore, He will use His own Word to aide us in our conundrums.  That is not to say, however, that God cannot just whisper in our ears in His own voice anytime He thinks that is what we need.  But I believe that a very effective way to hear His voice in our time of need is by knowing His Word and memorizing as much of it as possible so, when we are on the spot, it can come back to rescue us. 

I also believe that constantly praying and asking God for wisdom and discernment is crucial.  “He gives wisdom to the wise and knowledge to the discerning.  He reveals deep and hidden things,” says Daniel in chapter 2: 21-22.  We might not consider ourselves very wise or discerning right now, but the moment we begin to ask for wisdom and discernment we become wiser right away.  Like King Solomon, the wisest man who ever lived.  Why?  Because he asked for it!

Finally, I also believe that there will be many questions we won’t ever be able to answer no matter how much we study and pray.  Some of the mysteries of God are meant to remain mysterious for as long as we call this earth our home.  After all, like C.S. Lewis said in the Chronicles of Narnia:  “he is not a tame lion.”  What kind of a God He would be if we, mere created beings, could explain everything about Him who created us?  …Now, try to answer that!

1 comment:

  1. You've given me a starting point to the questions Jojo and Sam ask me lately . . . which, of course, make me ask myself my own opinion and thoughts on the matter. The search is on.


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