I was commenting on another blog recently and used an old idea about the difference between comprehending and understanding. Reflected in these words is a subtle difference in the attitude of the one coming to knowledge.
Comprehend implies grasping and an attitude of overcoming while understanding implies acceptance, humility and an attitude of receiving. Simply put the closing grasping hand vs. the open upturned hand. For example I would rather have someone understand me than have them comprehend me. There is depth and warmth in the former lacking in the latter.
Before I became a Christian I thought that Christianity was fine for people who needed that crutch. Who needed a fairy tale to comfort them because they couldn’t face the hard truth. I was strong, they were weak.
This attitude of self sufficiency can fool us into thinking we may approach God in the power of our own strength, as though we could take Him or leave Him. The idea is just foolish on the face of it. If we think about it for even a moment it is clear that if we imagine we approach God with analytic detachment we are not approaching God. If He is as He says then we must approach Him from our lack or need, we are not God, we did not give ourselves life. It is perfectly understandable that anyone who comes to God, examining him to determine whether or not he is worthy of devotion would find he is not. How could it be otherwise? The most such a one would find is a bigger version of themselves and not God at all.
There is of course a quandary here. Does this mean we must blindly accept without using the faculties God in His infinite wisdom and mercy has given us? Not at all. It means that understanding follows from humility.
First we kneel, then we know.
The idea of the weakness of Christians may come from the lack of strength with which those who find Him approach God. They are broken and desperate, lost souls in need of mercy, forgiveness, and compassion. Theirs is not a “take it or leave it” situation.
It is these who find the one they seek. This too is perfectly understandable and only logical. When our need overwhelms our strength we are humbled, humiliated. It is from this place of humility that faith is born. Faith is required to obtain the righteousness without which no one will see God.
The marvelous thing is that this difference in attitude with which we seek God allows the meek, the mournful, the lowly in spirit, the humble, the peacemakers, those in need of righteousness, the unsophisticated, to know Him. When you read the Beatitudes notice it does not say these “will be blessed”, they are “blessed”.
So when we are weak we begin to understand, just as it is written the fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom.
This knowledge of Him gives us the Hope to stand, to endure. The weak are made strong. I find that marvelous.
Once we lay aside our own intellectual strength, and only when we do, can we see the profound exquisite beauty of the Truth of Jesus, The Christ, the Son of the living God.
The view from your knees is breathtaking.