In A Cry for Mercy, Henri Nouwen writes: ‘I often wonder if my knowledge about God has not become my greatest stumbling block to my knowledge of God.’
Wow. What a true statement. In the words of McMinn, "Nouwen distinguishes between the tough-minded work of theology (knowledge about God) and the tender-hearted journey of spirituality (knowledge of God)". Though Nouwen is making the point that too much reliance on the intellectual study of God can injure our personal connection with God, of course we need both.
As I am studying at Bible college this year, my heart and mind is being equally stretched - and I love it. And guess what, I actually love it because it is a struggle. Yes, it is not all joy and wonder. It is not always an easy journey. You wrestle with difficult issues, with tough questions, with personal doubts. But through it all, it is this wrestling process that humbles me and actually brings me back to God again and again.
I realize that I can't understand without Him. I cannot proceed apart from His love and grace. I cannot be and am certainly not better than others just because I think I 'know' more. When it comes to faith in Jesus, it's not mere head-knowledge, nor is it the intensity of feelings. It is joy, struggle, faith, doubt, peace, love, repentance, forgiveness, failure - and all these seemingly conflicting concepts that are actually worked out in the day-to-day. In all this, my relationship with Jesus is strengthened and shaped into something that becomes more and more beautiful and intimate. I can barely explain it in such a way that does justice to the reality of this challenging and yet wondrous experience!
I don't think I could trade my faith for any lesser pleasure. Jesus is my deepest delight, and I am still digging deeper into this everlasting well of living water. I may get distracted by other things along the way, but to tell you the truth: so far in my experience, I've always come back to God because I haven't found anything else out there that has satisfied my soul and mind and heart like He has.
J a n i e ll e