Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Uncontainable

One of the most traumatic experiences of my childhood was when Toto pulled back the emerald green curtain to reveal that the “Great and Powerful Oz” was nothing more than an ordinary man from Kansas with an elaborate special effects system. My heart sank when I realized that the Wizard had no real power and it was all just a fa├žade.

As I got older I became a theater junkie. I was in the drama club in high school and spent lots of time behind the curtain. I loved seeing how a false reality could be created for the stage. Even now I find myself looking for wires and screens. Whether I’m at an off Broadway production in a theatre, a conference in a convention hall, or a concert in an arena I spend as much time looking for the illusions as I do watching the actual performance. Because I know… you just can’t believe everything you see.

I’ve unconsciously lived for years believing that most of life is like the stage. Very limited in what can be created and that what is seen is not necessarily what is real.

I’ve even been guilty of thinking that God is just like the Wizard of Oz. Pretty impressive but still just a man behind a curtain, limited by what He can do.

I don’t think it’s entirely my fault that I try to contain God. I think it’s just the reality of our human nature and our limited ability to be able to comprehend who God really is.

We know only a portion of the truth, and what we say about God is always incomplete. But when the Complete arrives, our incompletes will be canceled. We don't yet see things clearly. We're squinting in a fog, peering through a mist. But it won't be long before the weather clears and the sun shines bright! We'll see it all then, see it all as clearly as God sees us, knowing him directly just as he knows us! 1 Cor. 13:9-10,12 The Message

Our minds simply can’t comprehend all there is to know about God.

And I supposed that if all the other things Jesus did were written down, the whole world could not contain the books. John 21:25

Our God is simply uncontainable.

The heavens, even the highest heaven, cannot contain you. 1 Kings 8:27

Yet contain Him is exactly what we try to do. We try to wrap our minds around who He is and what He can do. We make statements about His character and His ways like we know His thoughts.

We look at a situation and deem it hopeless. We look at a circumstance and declare that it is unchangeable. We look at person and proclaim that they are too far gone. While deep in our hearts wishing that the man behind the curtain really was a Wizard.

We’ve been conditioned to believe that “Happily ever after” is simply the stuff of fairy tales. And that “All Powerful Beings” are resigned to movie screens. But the God we serve is not constrained by stories and scripts. He is not limited by time or space or imagination.

He is uncontainable.

For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways higher than your ways and My thoughts than your thoughts. Isa. 54:9

Whatever we think about God, He is more! More loving and powerful and just and holy and big and grand. He is unfathomable! We just can’t wrap our minds around Him.

No matter how hard I look, I simply cannot find the wires, screens or effects. I’ve searched behind the curtain and have yet to find any illusion or pretense with God. He simply is who He says He is. The Alpha and Omega. Creator and Sustainer of all.

The uncontainable God.