Image of God

The Incomplete God

I believe in an incomplete God. I pray to an incomplete God, sing praises to an incomplete God and read the scriptures of an incomplete God. It’s not that God is incomplete, mind you. It’s that my understanding of God is incomplete. So I am left believing in a God who I only partially comprehend. I worship the tip of the iceberg, knowing that there is so much more which is beyond my perception.

I can’t tell you why one person dies of cancer while another recovers against all medical odds.

I can’t explain why one person wins the lottery while another struggles to feed their children.

I don’t know why some of my prayers yield amazing results while others seem to go unnoticed.

But the thing is, I’m a super analytical person.  I don’t like unsolved mysteries. I want a God that I can understand and explain. That way, everything makes sense. I don’t have to be confused or surprised in any situation.

So I fill in the blanks.

I take the God who in judgment destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah and the God who in mercy spared Nineveh and I draw connections to explain the differences.

I take the God who stuck Annanias and Sapphira dead and the God who forgave the adulterous woman and I color the spaces in between.

I take the God who killed almost everything on earth in the time of Noah and the God who came as a man and bore the guilt of the entire human race and I figure out a way to explain it simply and easily.

And I end up with something that isn’t God. Or rather, it’s a God created in my own image.

Because, despite vaguely understanding how feeble my mind is in comparison to the greatness of God’s existence, I prove over and over that I’d rather have a complete but false God than an incomplete/incomprehensible real God.

Only when things in my life occur which can’t be explained by my false God do I have to wake up to what I’ve done. And those are the times where I must do violence to the God I’ve created. Instead of having the ability to understand and explain what’s going on, I simply have to echo Ezekiel who, when asked something beyond his comprehension, answered “O Sovereign LORD, you alone know.” (Ezekiel 37:3)

I have to face the fact that most of the time, I don’t know why God does whatGod does when God does it.

It’s when I start trying to improve God in my own eyes that I get myself into this trouble. When I try to make better sense of him in my own understanding.

So I do my best to worship the God who I can’t fully see or understand, leaving the blank spaces free from my own conjecture and speculation. The places where he has clothed himself with shadows, I cannot force him to be revealed.

He is, for me, the incomplete God who is greater than I could ever imagine.