Isn’t it true that nothing in this life is complete except God and His Word? Our world was created and pronounced “very good” in the beginning (Gen. 1:31). Unfortunately, that was not how it remained. Mankind rebelled against God’s law, and now we live in a fallen, imperfect world. The good news is that God provided a way for us to come back to Him, and one day He will create a new heaven and a new earth. But until then, we live with a world that is incomplete. Even our understanding of the spiritual world and spiritual pursuits, which seems so pure and wholesome to us, is incomplete.
1 Corinthians 13 is the famous “Love Chapter”. The Apostle Paul describes to us of a new kind of love that originates only from God, because mankind cannot be truly selfless in our loves. As C.S. Lewis pointed out in The Four Loves, all of our earthly loves (family-love, friendship, romantic-love) are incomplete and inherently prone to be abusive and subversive. Even our deepest, truest loves come short of what we need. It takes agape love, or all-giving love, which God Himself first showed us, to temper our natural affections. It is “patient, kind, not jealous, not boastful, not arrogant, doesn’t act unbecomingly, not selfish, not easily provoked, keeps no record of wrongs, rejoices with the truth, bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never fails.” This kind of love obviously does not stem from us, but from God.
The only thing that is complete in this life that we can touch is God’s Word. It is always showing us the truth, whether we like it or not. And if we will faithfully read it’s pages as God’s Words which He wanted us to hear, it will change us. The Bible can always be trusted. (2 Cor. 2:9-12) Just as we grow up from childish affections into mature reasoning (or we ought to), so the Word of God became the fully completed revelation of God to us when John finished his Revelation. (1 Cor. 13:9-11) Even with our perfect Word of God, I must still rely on my limited understanding to comprehend what God has for me. But as we grow in grace along our journey here, we will eventually be complete ourselves when we reach heaven.
In God’s eyes, he knows this process in every detail from the beginning to the end. To us, we can’t see what will happen in the next minute, but God knows all of it perfectly. Our closest friends and family only know us partially. They are not able to treat us with perfect amiability and care which we would like. This passage tells us that only when we are face-to-face with God Himself will our own understanding be complete, just as God has known us fully from the beginning. (1 Cor. 13: 12) While our knowledge of God is incomplete here on earth, His knowledge of us never has been!
How often do I whine and complain to myself that no one understands me? Do I expect my husband or my parents or my children to know me so well that they would never hurt me or take advantage of me? Do I expect the same of even those outside of my family? ONLY GOD loves me selflessly, knows me fully, and treats me in just the way that I need. Even then, am I yielded to His purposes in my life? Do I take each circumstance and each event as coming from my loving Lord who knows me? Lord, help me not to be so selfish as to expect everyone to treat me perfectly. Lord, help me to be yielded to Your Word and Your sovereign direction in my life. Thank you, Lord, that even if I don’t understand myself, You do!