I'll admit it. I am certain that I am one of the most confusing human beings to ever walk the face of the earth. Some see one part of me and they see the cool, calm, collective guy that is doing work in his city, loving people, and loving the Lord. Others, like my family, coworkers, church, and close friends see the other side. You know, the one that feels like he's going to lose his mind because he has put too much on himself? Or the one that took offense to something not worth taking offense to, and so he's angry? Or how about the one that doesn't handle stress well, so he feels at moments that to just cry, shut someone down with his words, or whine like a baby is better, then he finds himself going back to The Lord and repenting because he isn't trusting him and finding peace in him like he should. I think that's enough about me, but you get the point.
We're complicated, complex people. We're usually "often misunderstood" or we're not listening to people like we should. We want to be able to tell people like it is, but then want mercy when people tell us like it is. How crazy our minds are, sometimes never resting, even when they hit the pillow! I've been thinking a lot (obviously) about all this. I recently had a situation with a friend where he was upset with me for not getting back to him, and so his assumption was that I was offended by him, when in actuality I simply forgot to contact him back. I have been guilty of the same thing myself though, and have been furious with people at times simply because I see them hanging out with someone else and not me. And then I either put on this front the next time I see them, or I just act like a straight jerk, cold-faced, and with quick hellos and goodbyes. See what I mean? Complex and Complicated. But of course it's not all bad or sinful.
We are also people that are lovers of life, and that is expressed by the way we serve, work, etc. We are able to see the beauty of creativity in different ways with people. Some people have incredible brains that are ready to figure out the next math problem or scientific hypothesis. There are incredible graphic designers, writers, photographers, bakers, cooks, dancers, and more, that use their minds to express the passion that God has given them to glorify him with. Or what about those who fight for causes and are extremely sacrificial? When you sit with them and hear of their desires, though they may or may not be your desires, you get elated because you know there's something there in them that isn't basic or normal. No, it's complex and complicated. But it's beautiful, and many times a reflection of God himself.
And that's the thing. God, making us in his image, gave us different abilities, personalities, gifts, passions, etc. They are ours to use, but ultimately they are meant to reflect him and glorify him. So I can only imagine how complex, and complicated (in a good way) God is, if he gave us these things when in reality he is so much more than even the things we use to exalt him with. His ways truly aren't our ways, and his thoughts aren't our thoughts (Isaiah 55:8-9). Yet he knows us so intimately, and the scriptures state that he knows our thoughts, our inward parts, and so much more (Ps. 139). He is king, reigns on high, with Christ at his right hand, and yet merciful, listening to his children, and giving us what's best for us for that particular season and according to his sovereign will, ultimately so we would know him. This very deep, and incredibly wonderful Father of ours cares to know us and for us to know him, no matter how much we whine, and still sent his son knowing how much we would whine or even sin at times! He is faithful when we aren't.
God's work in us, given by his spirit, is one that, while we wonder at times, "God, what are you doing with me?", is nonetheless a work that we can trust fully. And that work is done in every individual that has put his trust in him. He is even seen at times in those that have refused to trust him, because they are made in his image too. Prayerfully one day they would repent, trust and begin to grow in what starts as a temporarily earthly bond with the savior that will eventually turn into an eternal one when Christ returns.
What am I getting at here? Basically people are complex, but God is more complex, and he made each of us in his image, so we are blessed with opportunity to know people, past the frustrating moments, past the times of struggle, past the times of grief. I can persevere with family and friends even when I struggle to understand why the heck they do what they do sometimes, or even when they wonder the same about me. So even when people get on my last nerves, or I get on my last nerves, I know a God that has unlimited patience with me, and many of the other "worst of sinners". And he knows me literally better than I know myself, and it can encourage me to be patient with them, because he knows the depths of their hearts just like he knows mine. And not just be patient with them, but actually grow with them.
Sometimes it's taught in churches that we are to instantly cut off someone who annoys us or that hurts us, and at times, for our safety or spiritual growth, it might be necessary. Sometimes it's easier for us to chill with the people that "get us" and "feel us". But the people of God are each so uniquely crafted and able to know and grow with! And it's beautiful because God is beautiful! Why couldn't one of my friends be some 55 year old man that is a republican, yet loves social justice, sees the beauty in diverse culture, loves baseball, and ultimately loves Jesus? Is it because it's harder for me to deal with him because he's republican? Well, maybe he's Christian before that. What do I do then? The same thing that God has called me to do all along; love my neighbor as myself. (Mark 12:30)
These are things I struggle with on a daily basis, and I'm sure we all do at times. It's just easier to chill with those we clique with, and even then we sometimes cut them off because they were too much for us to deal with. But I'm sure we weren't too much for Christ to die for, and for God to adopt, in spite of our sinfulness, daily woes, and so on. I pray that I can grow more into a person that aims to please God in everything, especially loving his fellow image bearers, and that I would enjoy their deepness,persevere with them through their sinfulness and struggles, and that those times would encourage me to know more and more how deep God himself is. I'm looking forward to the day when those of us who know him somewhat now will know him fully. That will last for eternity.