We can get so very full of ourselves at times that we forget that God is God.
Then the LORD answered Job out of the storm… “Where were you when I laid the earth’s foundation? Tell me, if you understand.” – Job 38:1, 4
There are so many things in this life that we can’t understand. So many things we want to understand why they happen to us. Why they happen to our loved ones, to the innocent, to the helpless. But, if we were to be really honest with ourselves, we know we only ask God the why about the hard things in life. We want to be given answers and demand explanations for all the hatefulness in this world, for the difficult and challenging times, for the ugly and evil things, for the painful and devastating experiences and the sudden tragedies in our lives. Yet, we don’t ever ask God the why about – or even feel a need to understand the reasons for – the loving and faithful relationships we have, the sweet times we enjoy, the beautiful and good things, the peaceful experiences and the unexpected joys in our lives.
We want to understand – often while shaking our fists and stomping our feet at God or while closing off our hearts to Him – why, if God loved us…why, if God was really good…why would all of these hateful, hard, ugly, evil, painful, devastating and tragic things happen to us and to others.
God understands our hurt and our anger. God understands our heartbreak. God understands the brokenness of this world. And God understands that even in this broken, sin-infested, pride-twisted world, there is much of His original intention for creation that still shines through to us. God still pours out His love, sweetness, beauty, goodness, peace and joy to us and to others in some way every day. Yet, we don’t shake our fists or stomp our feet about this. Instead, we act as if we understand that these good times, provisions and experiences are our rightful entitlements, rather than gracious and holy gifts from our loving God.
We each need to understand – even in our very limited capacity to understand – how very much greater and how very different God is from us. We each need to understand, or at least acknowledge in some way, that God is God and we are not.
When we don’t understand the circumstances and times of our lives, we can still choose to humbly and courageously embrace the truths that God has revealed to us through His Spirit, through His Word and through our Lord Jesus Christ. God reveals patiently, persistently and passionately His eternal nature as Creator, Redeemer, Deliverer, Savior and Lord. Our God reveals His eternal character as Loving, Faithful, Good, Patient, Kind, Wise, Righteous, Holy, Just, Merciful and Compassionate. And God in His goodness reveals to us that one day we will understand. One day we will know in full what we can only know in part on this side of heaven.
For now we see only a reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known. – 1 Corinthians 13:12
While we wait for the fullness of understanding to be ours, may we each choose to understand, humbly and courageously, that God is God and we are not!