Living with Mystery

Questions beg for answers, after all, that’s why we ask the questions. Some of the toughest questions are about God and who He is: How can God always have existed? How can God be one God but three Persons, the Trinity, as the Bible reveals? How can God know the future? If God knows the future and how we will act, then do we even have a choice of how we will act?

Some of the other tough questions are about God what He does: If God knew the world would be full of sin, why didn’t He create a different world where there would be no sin? Why does God let accidents happen when He knows they will happen? Why is there a hell?

It shouldn’t surprise us that we have lots of questions about God and His ways. It makes sense that we’re never ever going to understand everything about God and His ways. We’d have to be God to be able to do so! If we insist on a complete and total understanding of God and His ways before we believe in Him, then we’ve just set ourselves up for non-belief.

William Cowper was a famous poet and hymn writer. He actually came to faith because of his struggles with serious mental illness, a struggle that continued even after he became a believer. Out of his struggles he wrote a poem/hymn in 1773 with these words: “God moves in a mysterious way His wonders to perform.”

We have to come to the point where we accept our limited understanding of God and His mysterious ways. Cowper goes on to state in his poem/hymn, “Judge not the Lord by feeble sense, but trust Him for His grace; behind a frowning providence He hides a smiling face.”

People have told me that when they get to heaven they’re going to have some questions for God, wanting Him to explain Himself. My response to such statements has been to suggest that the person imagine meeting God “face to face” and hearing God say, “So, I understand you have some questions for me.” I believe that with a much fuller experience and greater understanding of God than we had on earth we would, in the presence of His infinite love and wisdom, likely reply, “Never mind.”

Life is full of mystery. We sit in chairs each day with little understanding of the mysteries of the molecular structure of the metal, plastic, and wood of which the chairs are constructed. We take medicine to get over a sickness having little understanding of the mystery of how the antibiotic works. Deciding to have a faith in God means that we don’t insist God answer all of our questions. Faith in God and His ways means living with mystery!

“‘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

Have a good rest of the week!

Dave Claassen

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