DayBreaks for 2/26/19: Getting Comfortable With the Mystery

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DayBreaks for 2/26/2019: Getting Comfortable With the Mystery

From the DayBreaks archive February 2009:

We, my friends, are dwarfed by God.  Not just in terms of power and intellect, but in every way possible.  We are as a mote of dust drifting through an endless universe compared to God.  I don’t understand Him.  I cannot.  Yet He understands me perfectly well.  I cannot put my arms around Him, yet He holds me in the palm of His hand.  I dare not tell Him what to do, yet He has every right to direct my pathway.  I can’t contain Him or put Him in a box, and He has the ability to make me disappear totally, forever. 

Why did God send Jesus?  Why did He create a universe where every self-conscious creature that would ever live would be fallen creatures?  Why did He not choose another way to save the fallen creatures?  Why does it matter so much to Him what creatures as small and insignificant as we are do?  Why did He need to create free will?  Why could God not be content with beings who would obey Him without question and save the universe all this pain?  Why do little children die?  Why do the wicked prosper?  Why does God test our faith when He already knows what we’ll do in every second of our existence?  Why do we have to die instead of just be carried off into the hereafter?  Why is there a Trinity of Three-In-One?  Why couldn’t Jesus, if He was necessary at all, not have just died a righteous and perfectly holy man – in his sleep instead of on a rough cross?  Why is faith so important to God?  Why didn’t God come every 20 years or so and make Himself visible so more would believe?  Ah, the mysteries are great…

The late Dr. Clarence Edward Macartney, while a theological student, visited the home of a skeptic. The skeptic’s argument was as follows: “If a man tells me that he has a horse which can trot a mile in three minutes, I tell him to bring out the horse and prove it. If you tell me that there is a God, I ask you to produce God and prove His existence.” Macartney replied, “No Christian claims to know God, nor would want to know Him in that way. By that kind of searching we cannot know the Almighty to perfection. The Christian believer does not say, ‘I know God,’ or ‘I see God,’ or ‘I think there is a God,’ but ‘I believe in God.'”

We must face the reality that we will not now, not likely ever, solve all the mysteries.  Even the simplest of the mysteries can only be solved by God if He chooses to reveal the answers.  Many people struggle with uncertainty and with the apparent dilemmas of faith.  Is the God of the NT the same as the God of the OT, and if so, why does the God of the NT seem so tame by comparison?

“The great must always be a mystery to the little,” continues Parker. “The arch must always be a mystery to the column; God must always be a mystery to His creatures. If I could understand all, I should be all. Only the whole can comprehend the whole. Only God can understand God.”

Hear G. K. Chesterton on this subject: “Christianity got over the difficulty of combining furious opposites, by keeping them both, and keeping them both furious.”  Phillip Yancey observed, “Most heresies come from espousing one opposite at the extreme of the other.”  God is all in all.  We can’t subdivide Him nor put Him under an electron microscope to dissect Him.  We must accept all that He is, even though we don’t know what all that means.

Prayer: I must confess, Lord, that sometimes mystery makes me uncomfortable and I long for more certainty and clarity.  I don’t know why faith is so important to You, why having creatures trust in You matters so much to You.  I don’t understand Your actions and I often can’t see the benefit of Your ways.  Teach me, though, to trust in what I cannot see or comprehend completely.  Help me to live peacefully with Your great mystery!  In Jesus’ name, Amen.  

Copyright by 2019 by Galen C. Dalrymple.  ><}}}”>

 

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DayBreaks for 06/27/12 – The God of Huge Dimensions

DayBreaks for 06/27/12 – The God of Huge Dimensions

(NOTE: Galen is back from his trip to India, but will be publishing ‘re-cycled’ DayBreaks from the archive this week as he gets back on the ground, running!)

How can we measure the infinite?

As humans we like to measure things.  We measure baseball statistics, we measure distances in miles and kilometers, we have scales in our bathrooms to measure our weight, we give or get grades in school to measure our learning and progress.  We have polls that determine what our politicians will do – all based on measuring opinions of the voting public.  There is something about measuring things that seems to give us a sense of control in some way or fashion.  But when it comes to God, we run into a real problem.

Lift up your eyes and look.  Who made these stars if not he who drills them like an army, calling each one by name?  So mighty is His power, so great His strength, that not one fails to answer.” (Isa. 40:26)

The sun is one of these stars that Isaiah wrote about.  Did you know that a single square yard of the sun produces 130,000 horsepower (oops – there’s a measurement again!) of energy constantly?  The sun is one of the 100 billion stars in the Milky Way galaxy – and that’s just one of the billions of galaxies in the entire universe.  The nine major planets in the solar system vary in range from 36 million miles to 3.6665 billion miles – yet each moves in exact precision in it’s orbit around the sun.  Did you know that if you took a single dime and held it out at arm’s length on a starry night, that the area of the sky that is obscured from your vision by the dime contains 15 million stars (your eye just can’t see them all)?!?!

What’s the point?  We measure things about God’s creation and we are amazed.  We are amazed with His greatness, His immense “largeness” as evidenced by the immensity of His creation.  We are dazzled, mesmerized and astounded – and we should be.  But when it comes to other things about God, we seem to have a really hard time in believing He is so large.  What do I mean?  Simply this, as Brennan Manning wrote: “We tremble before God’s majesty…and yet we grow squeamish and skittish before God’s love.”  For some reason, we have a hard time getting our minds around the concept that the God who has demonstrated His greatness and power in the creation can love ME.  And so, because we can’t believe that His love could possibly be as big (or bigger!) than His universe, that He could possibly love ‘a worm like me”, we diminish God’s love by believing it is dependent on our Christian lives of ordered perfection.  Perhaps it is because we ourselves love so little and so poorly that we begin to assume that God is like us.  He isn’t.

Yahweh, our Lord, how great is your name throughout the earth.  Above the heavens is your majesty chanted, by the mouths of children, babes in arms.  I look up at the heavens made by your fingers, at the moon and the stars you set in place – ah, what is man that you should spare a thought for him, the son of man that you should care for him?”  (Ps. 8)  As hard as it may be to believe that God cares (and loves!) you with a love that is wider than the universe (literally), if there is one truth of the bible – one amazingly nearly unbelievable truth – it is this one: that God loves you (and me) endlessly.

Copyright 2002 by Galen C. Dalrymple.  ><}}}”>

PRAYER: Comfort us with an understanding of your greatness, and of how great is your love for me!! In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Copyright 2012 by Galen C. Dalrymple.

I Am 2 has just launched another project: to put in a water system for what will be the only pediatric hospital in all of Rwanda!  If you are interested in learning more, go to our blog: http://iam2.org/blog to read about it and learn how you can help! We are trying to raise up a massive army of compassionate people who will each contribute whatever they can – even $5-10 each, to help us deliver this water system through our partner, BeyondPoverty.org.  The budget for this water system is $8300.  Every gift matters…and every gift is appreciated!  They ALL make a difference!

Also, don’t forget our other project, Bright Future Children’s Home.  You can read the latest update about them at the blog, too, and can help us move forward with the feeding, clean water and protection these 37 kids in Kenya need to not just live, but grow!!!  We still need to raise a bit over $4000 to fulfill our mission.  Donations are tax deductible for 2012.  If you prefer to send a check rather than give through PayPal, write it and mail it to: I Am 2 Partners, Inc., c/o 3678 Creekstone Drive, Norcross, GA 30092.

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