December 05, 2005

I Don't Understand--And That's Okay

I think one of the primary obstacles society places in the way of people growing closer to God is the emphasis on accumulating information. With the availability of the Internet, 24-hour cable news and satellite radio (a personal favorite), there is an endless stream of information proved to (if not shoved down the throat of) the average person.

This cultural trend makes it more difficult for anything that can not be scientifically proven or logically supported to be accepted by the masses.

Ephesians 3:16-19 I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, ay have power, together with all the saints, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.

There is a lot written in the bible that I don't completely understand. There are a lot of things that have happened in my life that I don't understand. We are not promised all knowledge in our earthly existence. Quite the contrary--the above scripture is but one example of the message God sent telling us that there is plenty we will NOT understand.

The wonderful part of that is knowing that even when portions of the bible confuse us and circumstances in our lives puzzle us, we can know that God loves us beyond our human understanding. That love is the basis for our faith, which is belief in things unseen or not fully understood.

The next time you are baffled by life, try relying on that faith and know how much God loves us instead of trying to rationally figure things out. His plan for us will ALWAYS be better than we come with up on our own.

We may not understand it, and that's okay.


  1. A sad corollary of this is that people cannot see that truth can be conveyed by things that are not simple statements of historical or concrete fact. Hence the struggle for fundamentalists and others to see how scripture (or other elements of faith) can be true unless it is true in its historical details or scientific observations, both modern and post-modern points of view that had nothing to do with the way the inspired writers expereinced their world and God's revelation. To think the main question raised by the book of Jonah has to do with the nature of the fish and whether or not a human could have survived inside it for three days is to miss the incredible revelation that God loves even the Ninevites. Who cares about one man and a fish when the revelation of God's universal concern is breaking through that story!

  2. Who cares about one man and a fish when the revelation of God's universal concern is breaking through that story!

    Well, it gets into the whole inerrancy debate. The fundamentalist/evangelical position asserts that if even one detail in the Bible isn't literally and historically 100% true, then nothing in the Bible is reliable.

    I grew up steeped in that sort of binary/all-or-nothing thinking, but now I'm not so sure. What if God didn't take six literal 24-hour days to create the universe? What if the Bible doesn't speak directly to the issue of monogamous gay relationships? If my faith isn't strong enough to survive the possibility that the church has been wrong about such issues, what is it really worth?

  3. That's why our faith has to be in GOD, not the church! The church is made up of humans who are born with a sinful nature. There is nothing we can't screw up, including interpretation of the bible. The best use of the bible is a road map toward accepting Christ and receiving the Holy Spirit. Once you are there, he can lead you to discern what to believe, and sometimes it will run contrary to what organized religion expouses.