Simple and Complex

When I was a child, I spoke and thought and reasoned as a child. But when I grew up, I put away
childish things. Now we see things imperfectly, like puzzling reflections in a mirror, but then we will
see everything with perfect clarity.  All that I know now is partial and incomplete, but then I will know
everything completely, just as God now knows me completely. 1 Corinthians 13:11-12

A pastor challenged me the other day saying, “We all know that we sin because we are sinners.” There
is great truth to that, and I agree wholeheartedly with that statement. However, it felt like for lack of
better term ‘generic.’ The statement seemed hollow because it was too simplistic. We are sinners, and
thus, we sin. But our issue with sin is much more complex than that. I worried I was over-complicating
the situation, but that was not the case. When we first came to know God, it was a very simple generic
understanding of these simple truths: 1) There is a God, 2) we are not Him, and 3) He loves us
unconditionally. Today, I write 500 or so words on one facet of each of those truths He has taught me,
and He connects with me through many different interactions. The homeless man on the street, the
woman holding her baby, a couple praying together, and even a phone call from my mom remind me
that God is everywhere. So, which is it? Is our connection with God simple needing repetition, or is it
complex in meaning and value as many of our relationships are?

Our relationship with God is both simplistic and beautifully complex. The simplicity of it is as the pastor
pointed out to me is God must be our provider. We are like children; dependent on Him for everything
and trusting that He knows what is right and just. This concept is easy to grasp. However, God is also
beautifully complex. I emphasize the word ‘beautifully’ because as we learn more of Him and grow in
our faith, we build on our understanding of Him, and since God is good, what the relationship produces
is the same. It is what moves us to tears as we gain greater knowledge of His will, and it opens our eyes
toward finding His purpose for us. It is incredibly complex because while we are inextricably linked to
Him and each other, no two pathways are the same. That is His intention, and as one of my churches
preaches, a mosaic of people cannot be obtained by everyone looking and thinking the same. It is only
through challenging and sharing that we gain greater understanding of His kingdom. It is why we can
look at verses like today and see both the child and adult in us. The child harkens to Jesus’ teaching of
one must be like a child to enter the Kingdom of Heaven (see Matthew 18:3, 19:14). Yet we must be
foundationally solid to better recognize the inner-workings of our spiritual growth that makes us stronger
disciples for Christ (see Hebrews 5:12-14).

God is our everything. He is the foundation of our faith and light at the end of the tunnel. He can help
us get through the most difficult of times and keep us on the righteous path when we don’t. Paul’s
point in today’s verse is not to say we have all the answers. Instead, it is to challenge us to seek them. It
is to not settle for where we our in our relationship. It is to continue to push, struggle, and fight for it is
only then that true growth is achieved. Don’t over-complicate the journey. Trust that Christ is there to
guide you through it. How can God’s simple truths reassure you today? Where can you embrace the
beauty of your complex relationship with God? My prayer is that we grow spiritually by understanding
our simple and complex relationship with God.  Amen.


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