When I was a fellow in dermatopathology, I was reviewing a complicated consult case with my professor and mentor. As we both peered through the microscope, I listened in awe as he rattled off a complicated list of obscure diseases the slide may represent. After a few more minutes, my professor looked up from the microscope and declared, “Let’s send this case to Dr. Smith and see what he thinks!”
I nodded but attempted to hide my astonishment. My professor was considered THE expert in the specialties of both dermatopathology and surgical pathology. He literally wrote the definitive textbooks in both fields. “Sure,” I mumbled. “I’ll get the case ready for send-out.” Within a week, Dr. Smith returned his diagnosis. Not surprisingly, he agreed with my professor’s diagnosis but the experience stuck with me.
Who do the experts turn to when they are stumped? It almost seems like an unanswerable question. I know of other experts who never admitted they did not know the answer and would never seek another’s assistance. It was a tribute to my professor’s humility to seek another expert’s opinion. He knew his limitations. He knew when he didn’t know.
Getting wisdom is the wisest thing you can do! And whatever else you do, develop good judgment.
Proverbs 4:7 (NLT)
My professor was displaying wisdom and good judgment. Most of us have heard the admonition, “There is no such thing as a stupid question.” The corollary to this is, “It is better to ask and appear stupid rather than not ask and be ignorant and make a stupid mistake.” Candidly, some of the most insightful questions I have ever heard were made by people who later confessed, “I didn’t want to ask because I thought it was a stupid question.”
When I first accepted Jesus Christ as my Lord and Savior in college, I had many questions but I was often embarrassed to ask them. One of the many that perplexed me was the nature of the Trinity. Apparently, I was in good company. Entire books and doctoral theses have been written on this topic, attempting to explain it. However, at that time, I did not know this. I was a young believer and I felt everyone knew so much more than I did. I concluded that I was simply too ignorant and dull-minded to understand.
Do I now completely understand the Trinity? While I have a better conception than I did over thirty years ago, I still have questions and ultimately I know the complete explanation will only be revealed when I am in the presence of my Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, in Heaven. Until that glorious day, I continue to pray and meditate upon the mystery of the Trinity and so many other aspects of God. God is omniscient, omnipotent, and omnipresent. How can our limited finite minds completely understand an infinite and divine Being? We cannot. However, this does not mean we adopt an agnostic attitude that we can never know God nor does it mean we bury our questions with an academic smugness, giving the impression that we always know the answer.
I will continue to ask questions and seek advice from others. I will seek wisdom to develop good judgment and the humility to understand that someday God will reveal all of the mysteries of the Bible for all who place their faith and trust in His Son, Jesus Christ.
Love and trust the Lord; seek His will in your life.