The concept of incomplete keeps coming back to me. I keep seeing it in different ways in my walk, and the Lord is revealing the beauty in this incompleteness I am experiencing. The concept of incomplete is actually one of the ways our world can be defined as believers (and even more so if someone isn't a believer abiding in Christ).
I add that last part to clarify something very important. It's one thing to have head knowledge of Christ and the Bible...it's an entirely different thing - it's a MIND blowing difference - to abide in Him; to put Jesus above all else, giving Him the number one spot always...not just when it's convenient.
Not just when:
"Oh shoot, I should know how to handle this, maybe I could look into what Jesus would do."
"Now things are bad enough that I guess if there is a God, I'll turn to him; I'll pray so that - if He's there - it may all get sorted out."
And certainly not:
"It seems to be good to have some sort of religion in your life - maybe I'll start doing some things to check some boxes. And maybe I can do enough of that to earn some sort of heaven."
Instead it is (an imperfect, but real effort toward):
"In all peaks and valleys and everywhere in between - in all aspects of life - Jesus is driving my heart, my thoughts, my actions and my life."
Wow, sorry for that tangent. Yikes! As much as it was a tangent, I felt it was important to confront because I see all too often a lackadaisical, apathetic attitude toward Jesus...and I know people stuck in those places (I used to be one) are missing something truly incredible.
BUT, even for those abiding in Christ, there is much that is incomplete:
The seed of this concept was planted when I was studying the book of Psalms. It is really such an incredible (and often challenging) book to study. The poetic nature - I am more of a narrative gal myself from a comprehension standpoint - and the great need for context to understand the beauty of the sorrow, prayer, pleading or praise that is being communicated to and from our God through the Psalms.
Anyway, in lieu of going deep into the whole book, I will try to make my point: I was studying the book of Psalms and was reading commentary on Psalm 145 specifically.
This psalm is talking about praising the Lord. It is exalting His name, His character, His works, His Kingdom and declaring the generations that will carry it forward. It is a beautiful praise psalm. This psalm format is actually an acrostic (stay with me, I promise I am getting somewhere). Acrostic means each verse starts with a letter of the Hebrew alphabet in order. Clearly, I only found this in commentary since I have yet to master the English language, much less the Hebrew language. Anyway, there is one very unique detail, though, about this acrostic. It only has 21 of the 22 Hebrew letters. This praise psalm is incomplete in the way it was formatted; not because of human error. No. This psalm, along with all scripture, is breathed out by God...and yet, there is a letter missing. The commentary I found drew an incredible insight from this incomplete praise psalm of David: this reinforces how our praise here on earth - even when filled and overflowing with the Spirit - is incomplete. God is telling us it is incomplete, even in the most intensely spiritual moments, but will be complete when we are with Him in eternity.
So we see from Psalm 145 that our praise is incomplete. Now I'm going to bring it back to what I said at the beginning: this concept of incomplete, it extends to our entire existence.
Our joy is incomplete.
The moments we feel overwhelmed with the presence of God; the moments we feel overcome with thanksgiving and love because we are starting to scratch the surface at comprehending His love for us; the moments we feel poured over with a greater joy and hope and comfort than anything the world can give us: these moments are incomplete.
These moments are shadows compared to the completeness of these feelings when we are in His presence. This blows my mind!
Our relationships are incomplete.
Those moments we are closer than ever with who our souls connect with - our spouses, our family, our friends, I'd argue this closeness that is most deeply felt in our relationships with our brothers and sisters in Christ - these relationships are incomplete. We are still sinners, pulled away from serving each other with pure, Christ-like hearts. There are moments where we still are motivated by something outside of deep, perfect love the way Jesus is motivated. Others will let us down, and we will let others down.
These connections are only the beginning of the depth of connectedness (eh we will call that a word) we are going to experience with our heavenly family when we are all in the presence of our Father and Savior.
Our revelation is incomplete.
As much as we study, pray and meditate on God's word, we do not know everything. We don't know everything about how God works, and we certainly don't know everything about His creation. What He has revealed to us is stronger glue holding our faith in tact than what is undiscovered or questioned.
These revelations that we cannot fully grasp, that we haven't received, that we crave, they are good and purposeful to keep us chasing after knowing our perfect God, BUT hear me: don't let them muster up as much as a seed of doubt or division between you and God or others.
“The secret things belong to the LORD our God, but the things that are revealed belong to us and to our children forever" Duet. 29:29
Who we are is incomplete.
We are actively being worked on, through the work of the Holy Spirit and each moment of our lives. Who we are meant to be is not who we are today - not even close. He won't be done with us until we are with Him. Our brokenness and trials and suffering are playing a part in our completeness and His plan...but who we are and our purpose are still being perfected for His glory.
The Holy Spirit illuminates something unique in each of God's children that changes us here and now. He works differently and at different speeds on each child, and it will continue to press each of us toward imaging our Savior to perfection in eternity.
"And I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ." Phil 1:6.
Our relationship with Christ is incomplete.
We live in a state of being that tugs us back and forth. Between this world and our peace and perfection in fully surrendering (every day, every moment) to Jesus. Our heart and thoughts are torn from heavenly to earthly thoughts - our focus, continually drifts because of our human nature. Our relationship is intimate and deep, and REAL. But it is incomplete.
In time, we will have the completeness of this relationship as every knee bends and all creation is brought to perfection in His promised return and renewal of all things. In His presence, our praise, our joy, our revelation, our connection to our heavenly family and our purpose will all be complete and perfect - and we won't be tugged by our sinful hearts any longer.
In the midst of all of this incompleteness (this truthfully gives me great hope in what is to come!), I do want to end on the very real completeness our hearts and souls can feel today - it's back to my tangent earlier. I heard an amazing sermon this weekend from a guest pastor (Jamin Roller). <-- click to listen.
"Christianity is not about afterlife with God. Christianity is about present life with God through Jesus".
If you aren't living that truth, your heart is incomplete. And that completeness is something that Jesus has offered for our hearts here and now. My 7-year old actually put it quite nicely when we were talking about Jewish people; I was explaining that they have all the promises of the Old Testament, but miss seeing how Jesus perfectly fulfilled all of those promises...they are still waiting for the Messiah when, in reality, He is already reigning:
"It's like these Jewish people, who don't know Jesus, their heart is like a puzzle; they have all the pieces and are just missing one...and that one piece is Jesus..."
Our hearts have a hole that only Jesus can fill, a slot made that nothing else fits - there is nothing else that completes our humanity than abiding in our Creator and Savior. And while we are waiting on perfection in what that looks like, there is a level of completeness offered to us today - and we don't have to do a thing to earn it. That truth...it changes everything.