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When we can't understand
- Jacob Ninan
Irrespective of how intelligent we are, there are things about life we can't understand. Whether it is in our relationship with God or other people, we can't figure out everything. There is so much we don't know. We are limited by what we have come to know thus far through our experience and learning. Our problem is that even though we are constrained by all our limitations we think what we think must be right. We also tend to think that if we can't understand something it can't be right. We know what this does to interpersonal relationships. Think of what it can do to our relationship with God!
God has revealed Himself to us through His word. First of all, He hasn't done this in a systematic way in a text book fashion. We have to glean our knowledge of Him, a little here and a little there, as we read through the whole Bible. There are also a whole lot of things He hasn't told us about Himself, and so, we have many questions that are not answered. Why does He do different things for people, that too differently at different times? He allowed James to get killed but saved Peter through an angel (Ac.12:1,2,7). Why does He heal some people and even raise some people from the dead while many others die from their sickness? Why does He sometimes give miraculous answers to some people's prayers while many prayers go unanswered?
When it comes to understanding the Bible, many things are not clear at all, and different people argue with different points of view. Many things seem to be so clear to us but we can't convince some others about them. Many times the arguments coming from opposite sides look equally valid!
If we are the kind of people who would like to have everything under control this situation is very disturbing. Many people give up altogether at this point saying they can't understand the Bible or God, and therefore God and the Bible are not trustworthy. But what can we expect? Did we imagine that we should be able to understand everything about God? Then we would have been greater than God Himself! But as it is, we are only created beings with many limitations. There will always be things we can't understand. Even though God has revealed Himself through the Bible, it is still only a limited revelation because the infinite God can't be explained through a finite book.
Once we have come to know God personally in our life and know the reality of His presence, the proof of His existence becomes irrelevant. The more we get to know Him through His word and in our experience, we become better able to trust Him. Once we trust Him, we can even trust Him for things we don't understand. We can believe that He has wisdom to know what we need to know at this time. He has actually provided us with all things we need for life at this time in terms of His word, the teaching of the Holy Spirit and the fellowship of other children of God (2Pe.1:3). By faith we must be able to leave the rest to Him (De.29:29).