I don’t know all that much about God. Sometimes because the job I do is loosely categorized as “vocational ministry” people assume I have secret knowledge, as if having secret knowledge is a good thing–in my experience, such knowledge typically ends with a new cult that gets weird haircuts, loses friends, and alienates everyone save for the aliens it blindly follows. No thanks on that.
But back to God. I don’t know all that much. And I’m pretty sure you don’t either.
Yes, we know some things. But even those things are hard sometimes to discern–which is why Christianity has about 37,000 denominations (most of which claim to have it all figured out). But let’s be honest: they don’t have it figured out. God is pretty big–I do know that. Much bigger than my complete, perfect understanding could ever fathom.
But with this comes a few observations that I find comforting.
First, I don’t have to know everything to know some things. There are things given to us in the Bible that I can know. Things about God that are true and clear–that He is love, that He made all this, and that through Jesus, He makes a way back to Himself for us, even when we don’t deserve it. I can know that, and the things surrounding those truths, and these things can fill me with peace amid tumult, joy through pain, and hope in the darkness.
Second, God is okay with me not knowing everything. If I followed Him because I understood everything perfectly and got it all down in writing, well, that would be shrewd. God values shrewdness to a degree and we should study and seek knowledge of Him, but I don’t think shrewdness or knowledge is the defining characteristics that brings Him pleasure. A few times in the Gospels, Jesus’ disciples bolt. They run from the things coming out of his mouth, afraid they may have accidentally landed themselves in a cult, like the one mentioned above. When the dust had settled on the mass exodus, his inner circle of disciples remained. They didn’t remain because they understood all he was saying–repeatedly they are way off the mark on the things he says. They didn’t remain because they were courageous–we see later on that they were no such thing. They remained because they believed he was God.
And that is the thing. I don’t have to know everything or understand everything or even agree with every little peccadillo of faith. If it is all about everything Christianity says lining up with me, well, who is truly “god” in that scenario? The simple truth is that God is God whether I understand it all or not. If I disagree with something in the Bible, sure I can tuck tail and run, but that makes God no less God–if indeed He is God in the first place.
You see, what God values–the God of the Bible and the God that stood before the fleeing masses in the form of Jesus–is not superior knowledge. He’s not after brains and deduction and flawless reason. He values it, sure. Thought is always a good thing, and discernment lovely indeed. But what pleases God is not shrewd decision-making; it is faithfulness. To be full of a faith even when the exit signs are calling out. To be full of faith even when all seems lost, when sickness sets in, when the biblical worldview and my own worldview seem at odds. It is in those moments when I choose to lean on the first things I know about God, become okay with the second things I don’t know about Him, and stick around because I believe, despite all I don’t know, that He very much is God.