Radley and I were talking today. Well, okay, being that Radley's a dog, the conversation tended to be mostly one-sided. At any rate, there I was a grown man jabbering away to a four-month-old puppy who didn't understand a bit of what I was saying. Thing is though, sometimes I talk to Radley, and he knows exactly what I'm saying. "Sit." Got it. "Stay." Loud-and-clear. "Come here." 10-4. When I say those simple things, Radley not only understands but actually responds. Not today, though. Today was way, way over his head. Oh sure, there were a few times I would say something that sounded familiar, and he would cock his head to one side like he was getting it, but in reality, I wasn't talking on his level, about familiar things like sitting and staying, and he was totally lost.
Here's the thing: I really think that's how it is with God and me so much of the time. I mean, there are a few things he's been over and over with me, and I feel like when he says them in his Word, I really get what he's saying. "You're sinful." Got it. "I'm holy." Loud-and-clear. "Tell others about me." 10-4. When he says those things, man, I'm right with him, following almost the entire conversation. Then, there are other times, when I'm sitting there like a four-month-old puppy. "This suffering really is for your good." "My plan is to send you half-way around the world, away from family and friends." "I don't love anyone else in the entire universe more than I love you." There may be words that sound familiar, and at times I'll cock my head, trying to understand, but in reality, he's the infinite God of the universe, I'm a finite human being, and I'm just lost.
There's a wonderful word called "condescension," and it's the idea that God lowers himself in all kinds of ways to make, at least parts of his character and will accessible to us as humans. He does this through creation, he did it through his Son coming earth, and he does it through his Word. All intended to make the wonders and mysteries of an infinite God a little clearer to us pups. It's one of those words that brings tears to my eyes almost everytime I see it in a song or hear it talked about, because without God's condescension to man, we'd know nothing about him, never understand anything he was talking about, and never get to know him and love him more.