Listening to people who wrestle with understanding the scope of God and His activity in us and around us, I often want to say, “Don’t put God in a box.”
Defensively they respond, “Oh, I’m not.” But telling someone what God can or cannot or would not do places limitations on a God who has none. The journey to investigating God and His ways has no limits. In other words, we keep learning more and more about God as we progress in our understandings and experiences with Him. It is like the Christmas gift that comes in a big box. You open it and you see there is yet another wrapped box and then another and then another. God is so big He will never fit in a box. There will always be another aspect of God to unwrap or to realize.
It reminds me of dialogue in Shrek, the movie.
Shrek: Ogres are like onions.
Donkey: They stink?
Shrek: Yes. No.
Donkey: Oh, they make you cry.
Donkey: Oh, you leave ‘em out in the sun, they get all brown, start sproutin’ little white hairs.
Shrek: No. Layers. Onions have layers. Ogres have layers. Onions have layers. You get it? We both have layers.
Donkey: Oh, you both have layers. Oh. You know, not everybody likes onions.
Some people see God as an ogre. I researched the definition: a monster in fairy tales, usually represented as a hideous giant who feeds on human flesh.
Most people want a God they can clearly define, understand and explain. To me, this is pure foolishness. I have to have a God that is much larger than my mind and yet revealing enough for me to relate to daily.
My mind has limitations. I generally can only dwell upon one aspect of God and His ways at a time. Like it or not, God is just so He judges. He tells us not to be judgmental. He warns of hanging out with people who are unbecoming in character. He orders us to reach out and share love, His love with people with unbecoming character. This illustrates the complexity of God’s nature. He orders me to be a good steward of the things of this world and cautions me to understand that I am not of the world. It’s complicated! If it was not so complicated I would be left to “my understandings” and considering the limitations regarding my understanding, I would not have much to look forward to tomorrow. Gloriously, the rest of today and certainly tomorrow, I have plenty to look forward to because tomorrow I have another box to open with God about God. Fortunately, God has layers to keep us focused for the rest of our lives!