Presbyopia. This is the official ophthalmic diagnosis for many people my age who can’t read anything without reading glasses. What I used to see clearly I now strain to see. I’m constantly hunting for one of my many pairs of readers to magnify the text. If only we had spiritual readers to magnify our vision of God!
I recently read A.W. Tozer’s book, The Attributes of God, and I was challenged by Tozer’s reminder that “What comes into our minds when we think about God is the most important thing about us.” Do I have limited sight when I think upon the character of God?
The answer is yes, I do try to limit God to the capacity of my understanding. I want to contain him to make him more familiar and knowable, yet as I pare him down to familiar things, I lose the essence of his infinitude. People have created many analogies to describe God; however, the magnitude of God simply cannot be contained in what Tozer calls “creature-words.”
God is sometimes described as the missing puzzle piece which fits the God-shaped hole in our incomplete hearts. Somehow this puzzle analogy falls short to me, whittling God down to size, a small piece of a whole, when in fact he is immeasurable and boundless, beyond comparison to anything describable.
Should this leave us defeated, sensing that God is vastly unknowable? Take heart, dear reader. Ephesians 3:14-15 comforts us, showing how God helps us to know Him in His fullness:
“According to the riches of His glory He may grant you to be strengthened with power through His Holy Spirit so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith, that you, being rooted and established in love may have the strength to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth and to know the love of Christ which surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled with all the fullness of God.”
God promises help from the Holy Spirit to comprehend the vastness of Christ’s love to bring us to a more complete understanding of Him. Thus, God does not bring completion to the hole, like a puzzle piece; instead, He is the whole that brings us to completion through faith in Christ!
As I shift my paradigm from a puzzle-piece shaped God to a limitless, immeasurable God, I now grow excited, considering that I will spend a lifetime learning more about Him, with the continued promise of knowing Him completely in heaven. And analogies aren’t all bad: God himself brings us an analogy which gives us magnifiers to see this promise more clearly, “For now we see only a reflection as in a mirror, then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part, then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known” (1 Corinthians 13:12). Through the study of God’s attributes, we can all see God more clearly, even without our glasses.
“Magnify the Lord with me, and let us exalt his name together” ( Psalm 34:3).