Lord, I Don’t Get It!
by Pastor Greg Simon
Do you ever wish you were young enough to be comforted by crawling up in the lap of someone you know that loves you?
Rational minds can have a hard time understanding many things. Because I live in a body and my earthly experience is so grounded in time and space, many concepts are difficult to understand. But . . . I want to understand.
I really want to understand. Sometimes, I just don’t get it! I wish I understood how God knows everything I have done and will ever do. I can’t completely understand eternity or heaven. Creation is a huge subject. God’s speaks – boom! – life is created, but none of us were alive to witness it. I have studied the subject deeply but still wrestle with the tension between God’s sovereignty and my own free choice. Why the cross; why was Roman capital punishment the method preselected for Christ’s death? Why are some people instantly healed and others struggle with seemingly life-long pains? I want God to tell me why some of the most righteous people I have known died much earlier than I would have liked. I think many people at times struggle with that “betrayal barrier” – feeling as if God has somehow not done what we thought He should do.
I have been a Christ-follower for many years, but I am still not satisfied with my limited understanding. But as I think about my desire to understand, I am struck by the fact I don’t understand many things in the natural world of which I am daily a part. For that matter, I don’t fully grasp how electricity works (but I still keep on flipping switches to light up the room), and I know God is much larger that than my puny brain can fathom.
The incarnation – God clothing Himself in flesh – is a big hurdle for some people. God became a baby? Have you ever heard of the attempt by a little boy to talk with an ant? The boy had a hard time. About the only think the boy could think to communicate successfully was to become an ant himself. That is what Christ did when He clothed Himself in flesh and lived a sinless life here on earth. That may seem simplistic, but lots of concepts are hard to understand. I don’t think honest questions are a bad thing.
You know, Billy Graham, one of the most famous evangelists of the late twentieth century, had a crisis of belief. Graham struggled with philosophical and psychological questions that he simply couldn’t answer. Lee Strobel writes of Graham’s story:
“I was trying to be on the level with God, but something remained unspoken . . . At last the Holy Spirit freed me to say it. ‘Father, I am going to accept this as Thy Word – by faith! I’m going to allow faith to go beyond my intellectual questions and doubts, and I will believe this to be Your inspired Word.’” Rising from his knees, tears in his eyes, Graham said he sensed the power of God as he hadn’t felt it for months. “Not all my questions were answered, but a major bridge had been crossed,” he said. “In my heart and mind, I knew a spiritual battle in my soul had been fought and won.” For Graham, it was a pivotal moment. (The Case for Faith, Zondervan, 2000, p. 10-11)
You have read to this point. Could this be a pivotal moment for you? Ultimately, we all have to cross the barrier of doubt with a choice. Where are you going from here?
I think God’s Word is great place to start – for anyone with questions! Are you willing to listen and to read and to search the Bible to see if your question has an answer there?
In the book of Acts, the Bereans were praised for their honorable fiber because they really dug in the Bible to see if what Paul was preaching was factual. The Bereans were free from prejudice, not allowing what had transpired days before to cloud their discernment. God commended their diligence. “Now the Berean Jews were of more noble character than those in Thessalonica [who violently rejected his message], for they received the message with great eagerness and examined the Scriptures every day to see if what Paul said was true.” (Acts 17:11 NIV) Their willingness to listen, study, and respond to God’s Word is what made them noble.
Ultimately, I take comfort from knowing that God is God and I ain’t. Some things I will never fully grasp. The ancient Israelites had to learn this lesson too. Moses wrote, “The Lord our God has secrets known to no one. We are not accountable for them, but we and our children are accountable forever for all that he has revealed to us, so that we may obey all the terms of these instructions.” (Deuteronomy 29:29 NLT) Wow, I will never understand some things – secrets reserved for God Himself. But . . . I am responsible to doing what I already know to do.
Okay, Lord. I get it. I guess I don’t have to understand. How about just letting me crawl into Your lap?