“Rest in the Lord.” “Come to me and I will give you rest.” I have to admit that for years (decades, really), the true meaning of this wisdom from Scripture was totally lost on me. Then two things converged in one week that brought these passages to life. One was reading Chapter 4 of A.W. Tozer’s amazing book, Knowledge of the Holy. The other was a brief walk through the stunning Sunken Gardens in Lincoln, Nebraska. During the walk, we saw the unusual but strikingly beautiful plant pictured above.

Tozer noted that many who struggle with faith in Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior get hung up on the concept of the Trinity.  How does a human understand the three distinct members of the Godhead, and grasp the concept that they are One?

In those who question the Trinity, Tozer saw the unquenchable thirst of secular humanism to know, as man knows the physical world. Tozer captured man’s near-constant struggle to know the unknowable…and the fear of not knowing.

Secularism, humanism, and the intrusive presence of things have put out the light in our souls and turned us into a generation of zombies. We cover our deep ignorance with words, but we are ashamed to wonder, we are afraid to whisper “mystery.”

And then there’s the flower. An impossible color of magenta-red (words can’t even come close to describing it), reproduced hundreds of times in this garden without any effort by man, other than to plant the right seed in the soil. The question repeated in my mind:”How does this plant have such an unbelievable color? How is this color even possible?”

Then Tozer’s words came back to me in a rush.

“Every man throughout his entire life accepts without understanding.” Even the atheist.  It’s only a question of what he accepts.

Accepting the mystery of God is the rest that the Bible talks about, at least part of it. Accepting that man can never fully understand how God made this flower to have such an incredible, vibrant color that screams “I’m alive!” Accepting that God exists as a unified Trinity. Accepting that knowing God is a matter of the heart, and not just the mind. And ending that incessant, exhausting, futile struggle to know, to prove in earthly terms.

[S]ince we cannot understand the fall of a leaf by the roadside or the hatching of a robin’s egg in the nest yonder, why should the Trinity be a problem to us?

The beauty of Tozer’s prose is absent in today’s writing. But it’s the truth in his writing that speaks to my heart.

 

2 thoughts on “The Fear of Mystery

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