I will never know the answer to some of life’s little mysteries.
Where does the other sock really go?
Why can’t I run out of shampoo and conditioner at the same time? Like, ever?
Why do my kids feel like they need to wake me up to tell me when they can’t sleep? As if that helps either one of us!
And why does my little Facebook notification badge fluctuate from 11 to 5 back to 11 and then land on zero? It’s a dirty game, Facebook. Stop it.
All of those things are fun to ponder, but there’s one mystery that will never truly be answered and weighs a whole lot more than the rest. I really like to sit and think about it as if one day the answer will be revealed to me somehow. It’s foolish to believe it ever will, but I’m a deep thinker by nature and I can’t help it.
The Holy Trinity.
My family and I were discussing it over dinner one night. Because that’s what we do. Sure, we discuss what happened at the lunch table and why we shouldn’t have to take a high school chemistry class. We talk Alabama football and Lord help us all when there’s a political scandal. But who wants to talk about football and politics over a plate of spaghetti when you can talk about things that really matter? Eternal things. God things. Jesus things. And the Holy Spirit.
We act like these things can’t ever be explained. I believe that until we get to Heaven, we won’t truly grasp the enormity of God and all His mysteries. But, I also think we tend to complicate things that He meant to be simple.
The Gospel is simple. Jesus is the son of God, a gift from Heaven. He lived a sinless life, took on every one of our sins and was sacrificed on a cross. He died and rose again. Anyone who believes that gets eternal life. Simple. We complicate it with denominations, rituals and our legalistic practices.
I believe the Trinity is simple too. I once just accepted it as a blanket truth because I couldn’t understand it. It was just one of those things about God I planned to ask Him about when I get to Heaven. Now I believe its explanation is in plain sight and meant to be understood at the elementary level. How can a God in heaven also be God as a man, Jesus, and also be left as a counselor lingering on the earth as the Holy Spirit?
To understand this, let’s use our child-like faith and drop everything that hinders us and the things that so easily entangle us and think about the one matter that is essential to all created life. Water.
Jesus answered, “Everyone who drinks this water will be thirsty again, but whoever drinks the water I give them will never thirst. Indeed, the water I give them will become in them a spring of water welling up to eternal life.” John 4:13-14
It is no coincidence that Jesus uses a water analogy to talk about eternal life since all naturally created beings need water to live. But to me, this is the key to unlocking the mystery of the Trinity.
Water is the only substance that still maintains it’s molecular design in 3 different forms; it’s H2O as solid, liquid and gas. God is all three at once – God in Heaven, Jesus on Earth and the Holy Spirit living in and dwelling among us.
God as solid ice seems cold, distant and untouchable all the way over there in Heaven. Hardened and seemingly unjust. But He still holds healing and preservation powers. Like an iceberg, there’s so much under the surface of God that we can’t possibly fathom His complexities. Strong enough to move mountains, but oh, how He loves us!
So, He came down and sat criss-cross with us on the floor. He dug into the mess we made so we could touch Him and begin to understand Him. We relate to Him, Jesus. Just like the tangible and refreshing liquid that is water. He’s the universal solvent offered to all of us to soften our hardened clay hearts. We were soiled, so he cleansed us and gave us new life. Sweet smelling like the rain. Peaceful as a mountain stream. Powerful as a roaring waterfall and vast as the oceans. He invites us to dive deep into a free-flowing relationship with Him.
As any human life must end on earth, Jesus ascended back to Heaven. But He left us with something better. A friend and omnipresent advocate, God’s Holy Spirit. Vapor-like. Invisible like a gas. Still mightier than a steam engine, the Spirit moves and breathes with us. It’s closer than our thoughts. And I like to think of it as bound to believers at the molecular level. Part of our DNA that guides who we are and cannot be separated from us.
It stands to reason, doesn’t it, that if the alive-and-present God who raised Jesus from the dead moves into your life, he’ll do the same thing in you that he did in Jesus, bringing you alive to himself? When God lives and breathes in you (and he does, as surely as he did in Jesus), you are delivered from that dead life. With his Spirit living in you, your body will be as alive as Christ’s! Romans 8:1
There is no possible way to fully understand God and His mysterious ways, but I believe He wants us never to give up the infinite quest to try. May we always have an unquenchable thirst to know more of Him, be closer to Him and to emulate His example.
As the deer pants for streams of water, so my soul pants for you, my God.
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