Then said I: “Ah, Lord God! Behold, I cannot speak, for I am a youth.” –Jeremiah 1:6
To be articulate at certain times we are compelled to fall back upon “Oh!” or “O!”–a primitive exclamatory sound that is hardly a word at all and that scarcely admits of a definition….
In theology there is no “Oh!” and this is a significant if not ominous thing. Theology seeks to reduce what may be known of God to intellectual terms, and as long as the intellect can comprehend it can find words to express itself. When God Himself appears before the mind, awesome, vast and incomprehensible, then the mind sinks into silence and the heart cries out “O Lord God!” There is the difference between theological knowledge and spiritual experience, the difference between knowing God by hearsay and knowing Him by acquaintance. And the difference is not verbal merely; it is real and serious and vital.
We Christians should watch lest we lose the “Oh!” from our hearts….
When we become too glib in prayer we are most surely talking to ourselves. When the calm listing of requests and the courteous giving of proper thanks take the place of the burdened prayer that finds utterance difficult we should beware the next step, for our direction is surely down whether we know it or not. Born After Midnight, pp. 86-87
“Lord, don’t ever let me lose the ‘Oh!’ Amen.”
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