Peppermint Patty steps up to the store counter in a PEANUTS cartoon. She says, “Yes, sir . . . I need some school supplies . . . some pencils, some paper, a loose-leaf binder . . . and some answers … I need a lot of answers …” Don’t we all?
Life is full of difficult questions. There are many things in life we do not understand. Many of us have a hard time understanding the Trinity–God as Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.
Even the finest theologians find themselves at a loss to explain it satisfactorily. Some use the analogy of the masks worn by actors in the old Greek tragedies. One actor wearing many masks can play many parts. But it is still just one actor.
Others have used the analogy of water. Under normal conditions, water, H2O, is a liquid, but freeze it and it becomes a solid. Heat it and it becomes steam. It is still H2O, whatever form it takes, but it can have three radically different forms.
The secret of us, in our understanding of the Trinity, is trust. We can either spend our lives making ourselves miserable about what does not make sense to us or we can live joyful lives based on trust in God. An ancient Chinese proverb says, “The bird does not sing because he has an answer; he sings because he has a song.”
I may not be able to understand the mystery of God in three persons, but I can enjoy the incredible beauty of God the creator. I may not understand how the Bethlehem’s babe “can in the Godhead be,” as the song says, but I can read with awe the life and teachings of Jesus of Nazareth. If anyone has ever lived closer to God than Jesus, I’m certainly not aware of it. I may not understand all there is to understand about that Comforter that Jesus said he would send us, but there have been times when that Comforter, the Holy Spirit, has enveloped me with love. I don’t have to understand God in three persons in order to experience the grandeur of what those three persons can mean in my life. The secret of a successful life is not understanding but trust.