Sunday, April 22, 2007

The more I know, the less I know

The more I learn about love, the more I realize how very little I know about love, and about how very little the love of Christ-in-me is truly expressed on a moment by moment, day by day basis. And what great hope there is in that! I mean, if, up to this point in life, "Christ who is my life" has expressed love through me in ways that are great, but yet I fall so very, very short of expressing "perfect" love, then as I grow in His grace I can expect and look forward to and have great hope that there is so much more to come! I "regret" the ways in which I've not shown love, and the consequences of that. But I don't live there, in regret (although I can certainly ponder it and be hurt by it, and be sorrowful about it and learn and grow from it). I live in the moment by moment hope of Him expressing His life and love through me.

And like I said, the more I learn about love, and the more I learn about God (who is love), the more I realize how little I really know! It's like, you discover a small secret cave on the side of a mountain, and you are in awe and wonder of this tiny little cave. Then inside the cave you find an obscure pathway that leads to a much bigger cavern and you explore the wonders of that cavern. Eventually, you find all kinds of trails and caverns, with all kinds of wonderful things to discover and explore, and you realize that the whole mountain is made up of all these exciting trails and caverns! And so many of them have things you would never expect to find, and it leaves you in awe and wonder, and you just don't know how you will ever be able to explore the fullness of the inside of the mountain. And you know that you are missing so much, and so you itch to find out more.

The wonderful thing about the 'mountain of love' that is our life in Christ, is that, while we continue to explore it while we're living in these temporary tents, and while we may come across some unexpected pitfalls due to "the flesh" and "sin that dwells in our members" (two separate things, that are not synonymous), we really have no time limit when it comes to discovering the fullness of God's love. In fact some day we'll leave these temporary tents behind, and the pitfalls that come with them (see Paul's talk about the day when our corruptible will put on incorruption and our mortality put on immortality in 1 Cor 15:51-58), and we'll be freer than we've ever known to discover and truly know the fullness of God's love!

In the meantime, "Thanks be to God! He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ!"


  1. Joel, I'm traveling with you through your archive and what an adventure. I know this is an old post and you may not see this comment but I couldn't resist sharing my thoughts.

    This post is so uplifting. It has really changed my perspective about this journey to uncover the wonders of Father's love. Before reading it, my focus had been on how little I've learned about him and his love. That has led to some frustration.

    Now, my focus is on how much there is to learn and the excitement of uncovering more truth. It really is an adventure if we'll focus on the beauty and wonder of his love and presence rather than on our shortcomings and failures.

    Thanks so much for all that you share. Your posts have been a source of great encouragement for me as I learn and become more established in grace.


  2. Aida,

    I know the frustration you're talking about! I've definitely been there more than I'd like, and I've found it quite a relief to stop focusing on what I don't know or on how short I fall, and instead to focus on the adventure and the discoveries that lie ahead. I like how you put it, "the beauty and wonder of his love and presence." :)

  3. Joel, thanks for responding. Your post has turned me inside out and upside down. I can't stop thinking about it.

    I work in a public high school and every day I have students who focus on what they don't know instead of thinking about what they are going to learn. Because of the wrong focus, they end up being discouraged and give up before they've even started. That seems to be a common problem in any type of performance based system.

    It's apparently a tendency that we learn early in life and it transfers to our relationship with our Father. Jesus, however, has set us free and now we can live in expectancy instead of frustration.

    I want to begin each day asking Father what he will teach me in that day and then to look expectantly as he reveals a little more about himself and his grace.