A few days ago I carved out an hour to talk with a friend, sharing insights, advice, and counsel. Our conversation was animated, optimistic, and collegial. I had originally anticipated that it would be difficult so as things progressed well my doubts began to emerge and then blossom in fullness. Did he understand what I was trying to tell him? Where my concerns being accepted and pondered? Was the proposed plan of action one that was going to be followed in any shape or form?
Later on I ran into a mutual friend. We had spent time thinking together about my plan and approach so he was eager to get an update. I shared with him the good news – how the conversation had gone, the ease in which things have been received, and the excitement that seem to play out as we anticipated the future. Then I opened my doubts. “I wonder though, (very long pause) how much he really understood.”
Later that evening I received a call on my mobile. “About 10%; or a better answer is simply “maybe”.”
I reacted briefly and as I did I found my eyes mirroring a dear caught in headlights. How long has God tried to share with me just how passionately He loves me? How many times has God replayed the tape – “its grace Bill, it is all about grace”? I have found the end of God patience when I try to do it on my own, only to fail and come crawling back mumbling all the while that I should have known better?
When wisdom advises us to “answer a fool in simple terms so he doesn’t get a swelled head” (Proverbs 26.5) he isn’t just talking about the idiot on the street! He is referring to people like you and me who just don’t get it. When we get the simple God gives us more. When we lose sight of the simple God patiently goes back to the Cross and starts again.
God is truly beyond my comprehension. But, love, mercy, and grace – those I understand.