In His Image: A Quick Thought on the Complex Nature of God and His Relation to Us

God, who at various times and in various ways spoke in time past to the fathers by the prophets, has in these last days spoken to us by His Son, whom He has appointed heir of all things, through whom also He made the worlds; -Hebrews 1:1-2 NKJV

As I read this passage this morning I started to think about how this verse is more than just words on a page, or a thing to be studied, but that this is a truth in actuality. This is something that actually happened and is happening.

A Different Way To Speak Than We Do

God spoke to people in the past through the prophets, and has now communicated to us through His Son. This got me started on the complex nature of God, and how He has and does communicate to us. That when God speaks, it isn’t always exactly the same in how we speak, or would speak. God spoke in that He sent the Word of God (Jesus) to this world and has communicated to us through the person of Christ, in the flesh, who He is and how we can know Him better.

You have to admit that is a different way of speaking than we humans speak.

God is just so different from us. I started to think about how difficult it is to conceptualize God and how impossible it seems to comprehend Him, and yet I can still know Him and experience Him. I feel like when I try to comprehend the nature of God, and the trinity, that I am trying to look directly at a light that is too bright for me to look at, and yet, I stare brightly into that blaze of sun because I so desperately and hopelessly want to understand.

Despite my reaching I have come to terms that it is OK that I cannot fully comprehend God. It is only important that we are able to relate to Him. In fact, the mere truth that I cannot fully comprehend God, and yet I can still relate to Him, is only more intrinsic truth about the reality of God as a divine being and a not so humanly invented concept anyway.

A good analogy came to mind that helped me to be more comfortable with the idea of God’s triune and very complex nature. I think it is hard for us finite people to accept that there is something that we cannot immediately understand at some level. This is because we are the highest and most complex form of life on earth. Whenever we come across something in our natural course of life, be it a small bush or a busy squirrel, we are innately able to understand something basic about it, and generally grasp its concept –even if there is still much more to learn about it.

Pippy, The Affectionate Dog

Take, for example, man’s best friend. I remember meeting Pippy for the first time. Pippy is my girlfiend’s dog. She can be a little bossy to Parker the lab at times, likely due to her sheepdog instincts, but she is a very affectionate and loving dog. She will stare up at you as you pet her, and you can feel her genuine affection reciprocate toward you. Most people can relate, and some people have so deep of a relationship with their dog (or other animals) that they have become part of their family. Still, we human masters are supremely more complex than dogs. We can relate to them, but they cannot fully comprehend us–no doubt. For example, we know we are supremely more complex than dogs because, although dogs can communicate their basic needs, they still haven’t risen to the level of building complex societies. The day I see a city built by dogs, with temples to the golden bone, I will stand corrected (pardon my tongue in cheek if you will). So then, as we relate to the dog we can innately comprehend much of their nature and yet, equally innately, we know that they are much less complex than we are.

Relating To The Master

When we try to comprehend God it is difficult, and sometimes frustrating. God is an infinite and divine being, while we are finite and created. But in this situation we are the dog and God is the master. We can communicate our basic needs (and surely complex by our perspective) to Him, but we cannot fully comprehend him. We can stare lovingly at Him as he showers upon us the affection of His divine grace, but we can only bark our thanks as we struggle for the words to communicate our deeply felt gratitude. We can experience a deep relationship with him, but in the end we can never hope to fully comprehend Him. And that is OK. That is simply part of the definition and nature of a divine being versus a finite being. I realize that there is some breakdown in this analogy in that  we are still much more complex than a dog, and that we are made in the image of God. While a dog, on the other hand, is not made in the image of a person. This has still  helped me to understand, and more so to simply be comfortable with, the huge gap there is in understanding completely the complex nature of God and His relation to us. There is more to be said of course, especially when we start to think about how we are made in His image (which might be another key to helping us understand the complex nature of God), but that might be a thought for another day.

For the moment, I will be simply content to happily bask in the loving affection of my master.


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