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. ><}}}”>