Have you ever known someone that was hard to explain? Maybe they are a brunette, with brown eyes, average length hair, average height, not too skinny, but not fat at all? That kind of described half the world. That isn’t to knock those who have those attributes, I mean I married someone that fits that description, and I am quite fond and in love with her. The point is, how do you explain someone beyond just the surface features to another person so that they may better understand them, know who you are talking about, and be able to communicate better about that person to another person.
I mean, why do you try to explain a person’s features to someone else anyway?
Isn’t it to tell them a story about the person you are trying to describe?
So what happens when you can’t communicate and make the connection through your explanation?
Usually the story stops before it even starts because there is no use telling a story about a person when the person you are communicating it to has no clue who you are talking about. Maybe you try to go ahead and tell the story, but that usually ends up in a “well, I guess you had to be there” type of feeling.
They haven’t experienced who it is that you are talking about, and you feel a bit powerless to make that connection for them. They haven’t experienced the person, or haven’t experienced them in the same way you have and so communication is lost. We either need to find a different way to describe our friend, or find a way to introduce the two friends more effectively.
We have to look for distinguishing features.
For me, I have red hair, blue eyes, and freckles, stand about 6’2” and work out. Usually if someone meets me, I am not easily forgotten. My features are fairly stand out features. This was never more apparent than when I walked down the streets of Spain and then a few years later, China. I was a pale giant. I was easy for them to describe to each other.
The good news for those of us who are believers is that we have a God that has more than just stand out features. While they may not be easy to fully explain God (especially since He calls Himself “I Am” when someone asks “Who are You?), there are feature that set Him apart and make Him much easier to explain and understand. This is true, only if we know Him in a deep passionate way. If we search through the myriad of countless depths of who God is we find a deeper understanding of who He is and His characteristics and features. When we try to explain Him to a friend it becomes a little easier. I am not saying it will be all unicorns and rainbows in those conversations with our friends, but we will have far less of those, “I guess you had to be there” conversations.
I have touched on a few of those characteristics in some previous posts but would just like to touch on a few here, and then a several more in “A Deeper Look.”
The first one I would like to look at here is in Deuteronomy 32:4,
He is the Rock, his works are perfect,
and all his ways are just.
A faithful God who does no wrong,
upright and just is He.
This Scripture talks about God being a Rock and faithful. I have recently mentioned what faithful is in a blog (A Routine Faithfulness). To give you a brief description, God is there to establish us, to stand us up, to make our footing firm. Then if we look at Him as a rock, He is unmovable, solid, and just strong. Those are very basic explanations, but if you were someone’s friend and they said you were a rock (not dumb as a box of rocks), solid, they do everything they can to establish or build me up, that is something that would be humbling. If it were true, you would easily be described as a good friend. Now imagine the God of the universe being what was described to each and every one of us. He is a good God. He is worth getting to know.
Just one more before “A Deeper Look.”
Have you ever had a friend that when they walk into the room they just brighten any situation? The party doesn’t start till they get there, so to speak. In I John 1:5 it says "God is light", now it is more than Him just being a brightening to your day, but that is a start to the thought of this. It also goes on to say there is no darkness in Him at all. He never looks to tear you down, never looks to do you harm, never seeks to do anything to you except do what is best. All of this included changing us for the better and showing us a plan that will bring us a better, more full life. There are no draw backs. I won’t go on to say everything will work out how we think is best, but that is why He is so good. He shines the light on the things that hinder us, hurt us, or aren’t the best for us. He has a greater perspective than we do, and in the midst of holding all things in place, still makes time to lead us through the maze of this life from His high perspective.
These are just a few of his characteristics, and just scratching the surface of those characteristics. The whole goal is to know Him, His characteristics, who He is in such a way that we can explain Him to our other friends so that when we tell them His story they will understand who we are talking about. We want to avoid those, “I guess you had to be there” experiences and help them experience Him through our experiences of Him.
Can we draw a picture of who God is to those who have never really seen Him?
A Deeper Look @ the Person of God.