It’s been a struggle over the last several weeks. I seem to have taken on the self-appointed task of trying to “explain” God to various people—those that have a relationship with Him, and those who don’t even feel He exists.
Then, just the other day, I listened to a radio preacher who was explaining a certain . . . I don’t even remember what it was . . . but his answer was so concise, so dead-on accurate, so true to my own feelings that I just got goose bumps. Chills ran up and down my spine. The light bulb went on.
That was it! Those were the three words I’d been searching for. Well no, not searching for–I already knew them in my heart but never felt comfortable in saying them out loud. Yet here he was. This learned man of God. Ordained in scripture and teaching. Saying the very words I had been too afraid to utter myself.
Are you ready? You sure?? You’re gonna want to post these words on Facebook! Tweet them to all your followers! IM all your friends.
Here they come . . . .
I. DON’T. KNOW.
Yup. That’s them: Three little words that brought so much comfort and solace to my beliefs and my relationship with God. It’s the only true, most honest answer I’ve been able to come with in regards to some of the toughest questions of my own faith.
I mean how do I explain to the skeptic a God that wipes out entire populations to make way for His chosen people? How do I explain the seeming inaccuracies and contradictions of the Bible? (Although, to be fair, even the skeptics can’t agree on how many contradictions there are. 32? 200? 1000? I’ve seen all kinds of differing numbers. By the way, would the differing numbers be a contradiction themselves? And if so, do I dare to believe they exist?)
How do I explain evil?
It would seem that God needs to fit into a category that skeptics are familiar and comfortable with: either the “Explainable” (microbiology, gravity, etc.), or the “Yet To Be Explained” (quantum physics, nano-particles, etc.). “The Unexplainable” has no room in their repertoire of conversation, nor in their banks of knowledge.
Yet, “The Unexplainable” is exactly where God dwells:
Isaiah 55: 7 Let the wicked forsake his way and the unrighteous man his thoughts; and let him return to the Lord, and He will have love, pity, and mercy for him, and to our God, for He will multiply to him His abundant pardon.
8 For My thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways My ways, says the Lord.
9 For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways higher than your ways and My thoughts than your thoughts. (AMP)
And why does He do these things?
I. Don’t. Know.
Why don’t you ask him? Oh wait, Job did . . . and got his butt chewed out when God said, in essence, “Who am I to owe an explanation to you?” (see Job: 38-42)
And why does he take this attitude towards Job?
I. Don’t. Know.
Probably because He’s God and Job isn’t and it’s the truth.
On second thought, he may very well give you an answer; at which point it would be up to you to accept its validity (which would be difficult if you don’t believe the One giving the answer even exists . . . but still.) In my own case, I’m okay either way. I’m okay with a God that lives in “The Unexplainable”. I’m okay not knowing all. I rest in the comfort of believing in the One who does.
(On third thought, as my lovely wife just pointed out: If we are all to one day stand face-to-face with our Maker, maybe God does live in the “Yet To Be Explained”. Hmm . . . just sayin’)