Welcome to all of you…
I like it when things make sense. I want to think deeply about how to handle a situation or what path to take and I want all my paths and directions and decisions in life to make sense. I even convinced myself faith in God is logical, but God doesn’t see it that way.
He tells us through Paul in 1 Corinthians 1:18 “For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.”
The cross foolish? No…Oh wait, it doesn’t make sense. An all-powerful God loves a rebellious sinful creation so much He sends His perfect Son to die. Sounds pretty far-fetched. Then there is the whole virgin-birth and blood-washed sins. From the outside we Christ-followers must sound pretty bizarre.
Far from logical is the fact that God Himself does not pretend to be knowable. He tells us,
“For My thoughts are not your thoughts,
neither are your ways My ways,”
declares the LORD.
“As the heavens are higher than the earth,
so are My ways higher than your ways
and My thoughts than your thoughts.” Isaiah 55:8-9
To our human understanding God will not make sense, but not because He is less intelligent than us – no just the opposite. His thoughts are so much higher than ours it would be like an astrophysicist trying to explain space flight to a two-year-old child only infinitely more difficult.
My human mind prefers neat bows and clean tidy understanding. Yet God doesn’t work that way. He allows pain, suffering, mental illness, infertility, evil in this world. He allows it. I can’t make sense of it and I wonder how now shall I live? I don’t know. It doesn’t make sense and I sit and puzzle and puzzle until as Dr. Seuss puts it “my puzzler is sore.” I never will understand because catch this…I am not God and God is much bigger than the tidy box I put Him in.
God doesn’t need me tidying up His actions to make them more palatable. He did things and does things different than I would do them, but His ways are higher. He allows tsunamis, murders, rapes, infertility, famine, racial-cleansing. God doesn’t make sense to me. The more I know of Him and His ways the less I understand Him. He is more and bigger than I could hope to understand – an eternity will not be enough to know Him fully.
But there are things I do know. I know God is good, faithful, just, love. Since God is all those things and more I can trust God who is beyond knowing or figuring out. I can cling to Him despite circumstances I cannot make sense of. In the face of unfulfilled longing, despite grief, or pain I cling to the God who is able to change all those things, but may not. I cling to Him because He is God and He is good.
What do you do when things don’t make sense to you?
Finally, last week I challenged us to use encouraging words. How did it go for you? I can’t say I succeeded, but I want to try another week. Will you join me to get rid of negative talk and instead use our words to encourage?