I have to be careful when I read the Bible or study Christian apologetics* because it is so easy to say, "Ah, ha! Just as I thought!" Because if I ponder and study matters of faith I need to be looking for more than just what I want to find. Of course, this can be a long, up-hill battle of trying to think deeply about what God might be trying to get me to understand.
From the start, I find it dangerous to even flirt with the idea that any mortal being can be arrogant about understanding the mind of God. God, amazing, all-powerful, creator God, teaches us as we open to Him, but I see no evidence that God does brain surgery to implant the "perfect understanding" chip. Instead, God speaks with such grace and tenderness to the infirm, disabled, and frail and with passion and authority to the arrogant and self-centered.
In other words, God meets us where we are. I see very different messages when Jesus responds to the broken-hearted, the off-track, the honest seekers, than when Jesus speaks to people with a personal agenda. Jesus is very blunt to those who would cloak themselves in "churchiness" while doing evil. But even they can be turned from their ways, if they but seek God with only a mustard-seed sized faith that God might hear their honest prayers. There is no evil bigger, nor anything more powerful than God....that is the whole point of Christ dying and rising.
Here is the best news of all...God accepts our deepest longings, our most profound shame, our feelings of utter-worthlessness and we don't have to pick exactly the right words or stand in a prescribed posture or jump any barriers at all: God does all the heavy lifting. God keeps working with us, weather we are newly exploring our longing to have our brokenness healed or if we are long-time friends of Jesus who are slipping out of this life into eternity and all along the road between. Every day open hearts get new insights into ways to grow, ways to love, ways to serve.
Most amazing God and Father, thank You for loving the least of us and those the world sees as "most" and everyone in between, each with an amazing love and a total willingness to redeem, restore, rehabilitate and renew so that each and all can grow ever closer to You. AMEN
* People writing or speaking about their faith journey, spiritual perspectives or other explanations their faith.-