Seeing the Big Picture

Dear Reader,

I posted recently on God’s law and how it is one unified whole and we diminish it somewhat when we reduce it to a list fo rules. Just as we cannot sum up a great work of art with words, we cannot fully encompass God’s law with our lists of rules.

I was reminded of this point by two things recently. The first is this post. It explains how to in order to learn to draw we must often flip what we are drawing upside down. We have to look at it in a new way that doesn’t make sense immediately to our brains. Then we can trick them into not seeing the whole picture but seeing all the lines. Only this way can we see how the whole is made and trace the lines.

The second thing was a conversation in our adult Sunday school class. A group of seasoned, mature Christians was trying to parse the differences between justification and sanctification¬†and how they work. We made some progress I think. But ultimately, it seems our words can’t sum up the work of God.

So it seems to me that it is not just the law of God which fails to be encompassed by our words. It is His whole work. We need to use words to comprehend it. But our words are not big enough to express it all at once in its complexity. I am not saying we shouldn’t try. I do think that the specifics of what we believe are important. But we also need to understand that we will never get it all at once. Sometimes we need to step back and forget the theological summaries and just gaze at the masterpiece. We need to look on the face and work of God and soak it in.

And getting back to the Childlight post, sometimes I think we need to turn the whole thing upside down and just trace the lines. There is a time for trying to parse out the specifics of our theology. And there is a time to just focus on the details. To trust that God is good and just to follow the lines He has drawn. I think especially in times of trouble, all the truths we can espouse fall short. Instead we need to trust God’s character and we need to follow where He leads, one little line, one step at a time, and not try to focus on the big picture.

Nebby

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