What We Think We Know, vs. Really Knowing

By Lynwood Johnson

Iceberg V


Who hasn’t seen this great image?  I love it because it illustrates so much of life.

Above the waterline could represent what we thought high school or college would be like, below the water line is what school actually was like.  Above the line, the perfect job or career we excitedly described to friends and family when we just started. Under water, what the job actually involved.  Above, what we imagined marriage would be like; below, what it really is.

The beauty of this illustration starts collapsing however, when we turn our thoughts toward God.  If above the water suggests what we know about God, this picture is far too generous – we’re just beginning to know about Him.  Correspondingly, the depth and breadth of the reality of His Person cannot be adequately represented by the above rendering.  He is so much more!  And in His brief little Love Letter we know from ‘Beginnings’ (Genesis) through Revelation, He reveals Himself as altogether loving; merciful and gracious beyond reason or logic, and anxious that we come to know Him and discover the Life Overflowing that He loves to lavish on those who love Him.

Our problem?  We think we know.  We think the little part we see and understand above the water is pretty much all there is.  We tend to think that with what we know, we have it all handled, so we’re done with it.  An example many of us hear often: “God is One (The Shema), so He certainly can’t be a Man.”  Case closed.  We think we know.

Iceberg Square

However, in our quieter, more reflective moments we know within our own spirits, where we keep our own counsel, that there’s More.  With such a great and creative God who spans His universe with stars and galaxies beyond count, there has to be More.  We sense that all of what we see and ‘know’ doesn’t just float on its own, unsupported.  And like bathers first sticking a toe or an ankle in the chilly water, we sense there is a larger world and larger adventure just beyond where we are right now.  And when we hold what we Know with a more relaxed grip, we’re startled to find ourselves on the edge of a great, divine miracle – a personal life with a very Personal Creator God.

And then starts an adventure of growing oneness with Him; and truly, really Knowing.

Lynwood Johnson is an active participant at Congregation Tree of Life.  Walking with Yeshua for 47 years, he finds illustrations of God’s activity in life, everywhere.  Sometimes he writes about them