Knowing God

We are called to know God; not to “understand” him. *

Before you get confused by my statement, read on:

Children know their parents though they do not fully understand them.

For example, take a 2-year-old. He will not understand why his parents won’t let him drink all that beautiful muddy water on the street. The toddler, though he might not understand why he can’t do it, knows who his parents are and what happens when he doesn’t listen to them. As the child grows older, he will start to understand why he wasn’t allowed to drink the muddy water. However, he might not fully understand why his parents encourage him to go to school and do his best.

Toddler Eli moping about something non-important.

In a similar way, as I grow in my Christian faith, I will start to understand why some rules were put in my life. However, I won’t understand Him fully because I will keep having different trials where I will end up saying, “I have no idea why this is happening!”.

If our goal in life was to understand the fullness of God and His plans, eternities would not be enough for us to achieve this goal (especially in this sin-tainted world!). In fact, we can’t fathom to fully understand His eternal purposes. Asking God to explain himself for all that is happening is like having a 2-year-old ask an astrophysicist to explain why stars shine and expect to understand everything. It’s just unrealistic.

Let’s go back a little further even.

A baby. A baby can only laugh, cry, and make funny noises. As much as you try to explain to her why she can’t touch this electricity socket, she will keep going for it. So you gently remove her from that environment. The baby does not understand why this person who has been so nicely feeding me and changing my diapers is suddenly being such a monster carrying me away from the object of my desire. The baby cries. But the parent doesn’t relent because the parent knows this is not good for the baby.

Baby Eli crying for unknown reasons.

In a similar way, when something painful, or something that I cannot understand happens to me, I tend to question God, “WHY?” as if I could understand the reply; which I realize, I can’t.


Soon enough, the 2-year-old ends up trusting his parents’ judgment.

Soon enough, the baby forgets about the socket and smiles as she sees her parents’ beautiful smiles.

Maybe that’s why Jesus said we need to become like little ones to get into heaven. It’s not more “understanding” or more “knowledge” that which will help me know Him. It is total dependence on Him that which will help me know Him.



If we were able to understand the vastness of God and His mind, how would God be God? If I understand how God runs the show in all aspects, why would I need this “god” to be appointed “God”? If my understanding is equal to God’s, then I myself could become a god.

My point is that we don’t and can’t understand all the knowledge in the world. Only God can and does. That’s why He is God and you and I are not. So let’s not try to “understand” God by putting him in a neat little box inside my head. Let’s actually get to know Him better; just like little children with their parents.

Matthew 19:14

Jesus said, “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.”

 **By using the terms “understanding” and “knowledge” here I mean the kind of attitude of wanting understanding where the focus is on why certain things need to happen a certain way; focusing on the ‘head’ knowledge rather than that an attitude of humility of wanting to understand God’s heart and trusting Him to know best.


Tired of Being Useful

I want to stop being a useful person.

I am tired.

I don’t even want to explain thoroughly why I am feeling this way. I just do.

I’m tired of being so useful.

I am useful because I speak three languages.

I am useful because I can make videos.

I am useful because I can hold a leadership position in the local church.

I am useful because apparently I can communicate very clearly.

I am useful because I am using my talents to teach.

But.. would I be a loveable person if all these things were stripped away? What if I could speak only one language? What if I couldn’t make videos any more? What if I couldn’t be a leader any more? What if I couldn’t communicate myself clearly?

Would I still be me? Would I be loveable?

The weight of my responsibilities weigh me down. There is not an ounce of strength left in me. It’s not like I don’t enjoy all my responsibilities. I cherish them and I know I am learning so many valuable lessons. But my strength is running thin.

I’m tired of meeting people.

I’m tired of attentively listening to everyone.

I’m tired of carrying the weight of the things they confess to me… more so because most of the people who tell me their sins don’t turn away from them. (Although every now and then, when there is one who does, it’s like a breath of fresh air and I can’t help but think, “Lord, if even one will end up turning away from their sins, I want to be an open ear to whoever you put upon my path.”)

I am tempted to analyze exactly why or how I came to be in this position. But I won’t. God can heal in logical ways, and He can heal in different ways. I don’t need to analyze every problem I have in order to get to the healing. God heals. Not my logic; not my analysis; not my understanding. God does.

And now that my strength is non-existent, I realize that God had been already telling me to cast my burdens upon him. When people put the weight of their sins, I cast them upon the cross. When my responsibilities overwhelm me, I cast them upon Jesus. Jesus has paid the price. He is the one who redeems.

Though my responsibilities weigh me down, they won’t crush me. Though I am without strength, I know Jesus is my strength. So I die, and Christ lives in me. Jesus, live in me. Shine through my weakness. I am weak. I can’t go on another day being a useful, tired person. That’s why I ask You to take Lordship over my tired body and soul. So that people may know that Eli is not controlled by Eli but by the living God… and that Your name may be exalted. I am Your vessel, to do Your bidding. Use my everything for Your kingdom. I am not a useful person. I am Yours.

A picture I took a long time ago that makes me happy when I see it. I'm putting it just because it makes me happy. No logic! (I really am tired...)
A picture I took a long time ago that makes me happy when I see it. I’m putting it just because it makes me happy. No logic! (I really am tired…)