Saturday, September 17, 2016

Like Father, Like Son

For my thoughts are not your thoughts,
neither are your ways my ways," declares the Lord.

-- Isaiah 55:8

Admit it. 

You're probably one of those people who don't understand God. At least not all of the time. Or even a lot. And that's OK. In fact, you're in great company. It's called the human race.

That company is also better Fatherthan you might think. For example, many of the Bible's greatest models of faith were sometimes discouraged by circumstances. Some even questioned why God allowed their trials. Jesus himself asked God--his own Father--if there were another way to complete his mission on Earth. There just had to be a better way to save humanity than by a painful and unjust death on a cross. It didn't make any sense. 

But there wasn't another way. At least not another perfect way.

As Christ-followers, one lesson that we eventually learn is that even the worst situations render some good in the end. The trouble is that we tend to see the situation through the cloudy lens of human experience. But God sees the vivid Big Picture and what's behind that bend in the road. It's when we finally mature enough in faith that God begins to show us glimpses of reality and eternity. And then we begin to see through new eyes.

Even when God shows us these wonderful truths, we're still spiritually nearsighted and unfocused. We finally understand that his thoughts really aren't our thoughts. And our ways fall far short of his. So if that's the case, how can we ever hope to know who God really is and what he's like?

God understood our limitations before we were ever born. So to fully reveal himself to his creation, he had to personally live out the human experience. It was the perfect plan--and one that was totally beyond our comprehension.

Now fast-forward several centuries to Israel, a dusty backwater outpost of the Roman Empire. Philip--one of Jesus' disciples-- told his Teacher about his hunger to know God. He wanted to see his Creator face-to-face. Little did Philip know that he had been doing just that over the previous 1,000 days!

"Don't you know me, Philip, even after I have been among you such a long time?" Jesus asked His earnest disciple. "Anyone who has seen me has seen the Father. How can you say, 'Show us the Father'?"

It was a staggering revelation. But more than that, it was a simple answer to humanity's ultimate questions. If we want to know if God exists, who he is and what he's really like, we first must know his Son, Jesus. And we all have an open invitation to do just that:

"Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls," the Savior assures us. "For my yoke is easy and my burden is light."

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