Subtlety to the Simple

Of all the things I’ve admired in Jesus Christ, it’s never occurred to me that He is subtle.

Subtle: not obvious, and therefore difficult to notice; difficult to detect or grasp by the mind or analyze; indirect in a way that prevents people from noticing what you are trying to do; showing an ability to notice and understand small things that other people do not; able to make fine distinctions; delicate and complicated in an attractive way

As God, Christ does not present Himself to the world in splendor and power, but in weakness and poverty. There’s so much He doesn’t say; He 0_4df5739816_2_ed9178fc13ce6-postseldom answers clearly or directly. He drops clues and hints, hides truth in stories we struggle to understand, and answers our queries with even more questions, questions which expose our hearts and motives.

Yet I’ve been living so differently inside … so very un-subtly … wanting to be heard and understood, arguing, reasoning, being as compelling and as thorough as I can be, frustrated when others do not see. Evidently, God’s not like that.

I’m beginning to see beauty in His obscurity now, in His matchless humility, in divine subtlety. Perhaps it’s because we cannot yet bear His fullness that He veils Himself so. Yet He’s about sharing even His subtlety with all who seek Him. (Pr 1:4)

Transformation is amazing, becoming something we never thought we could. Christ being formed in us means becoming like Him in every way. (1Jn 3:2) He who began a good work in us will perform it until the Day of Jesus Christ, (Php 1:6) who of God is made unto us wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption. (1Co 1:30-1) This is hope indeed!

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2 thoughts on “Subtlety to the Simple”

  1. As I memorize Proverbs I’m seeing this for the first time. Trying now to grasp a holy subtlety, how to be a bit less obvious, more insightful. Learning to inspire hunger and thirst, to draw others on rather than pressing them. Seeing this in my Lord is inspiring and encouraging.

  2. Certainly there are times for being direct and plain rather than subtle. For example, when Christ cleansed the temple He was not being what I would call subtle.

    Perhaps times like these are windows into a coming Day when He will be much more direct and obvious. For now it seems that his subtlety is revealing Man’s nature more fully than if He was being direct.

    There is a purpose in all that He does, which brings us back to wisdom, which knows when to be subtle and when to be direct.

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