Depends on who says it, doesn’t it?
If I say it, you chuckle. Or mock.
If God says it . . . well, he wouldn’t say it that way. But he could because it’s true.
You can’t possibly keep up with someone who knows everything
When I first believed in Jesus I just could not wait until six months passed so I would know something about what I believed.
Twenty-five years later I can’t wait until I believe what I know.
Actually, I could believe it right now. I have a choice.
But, believing is harder than knowing.
Believing doesn’t mean I nod my head when someone says something that’s true. Believing doesn’t just mean I agree that all those things happened in the Bible.
Believing is that day I got fired and put my hand on the knee of my boss sitting next to me and said, “I know this is hard for you but I want you to know it’s OK because my God is very big and loves me and he’s in control and I trust him.” The words came out without me thinking because I believed it was true.
But on those days when I grumble and carry on imaginary arguments with people who rub me wrong–that is not believing. The invisible grumbling and arguing comes out without me thinking because at that time I DON’T believe God is big and in control and loves me.
You CAN believe what doesn’t make sense
To me, everything about my life – the family I was born into, all the stuff that has happened to me, the kind of person I am with my DNA and wiring and gifting – is engineered, permitted, or governed by a God who loves me, controls everything, and knows exactly what he is doing.
I believe he is always in control, always just, and always loving–and all at the same time without ever compromising any of his control or love or justice.
Really? So God engineered, permitted, or governed this mess? (Substitute anything you want for ‘mess’). That’s outrageous!
Okay. He didn’t permit it. It happened despite his efforts to stop it. He wanted to stop it but couldn’t. He tried, but he’s just not strong enough.
But you read,
By him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities–all things were created through him and for him. And he is before all things , and in him all things hold together. – Colossians 1.16-17
Okay then, let’s say he’s strong enough and could have stopped it, but then that means he is not loving because he permitted this horrible mess to happen to people (or me). You call that LOVE?
But you read,
As high as the heavens are above the earth, so great is his steadfast love toward those who fear him – Psalm 103.11
For those who love God, all things work together for good – Romans 8.28
And the angels peer over the rim of heaven and look down upon the earth to see how God will resolve the dilemma of his love and power in the sight of man. But in the sight of man he does not.
Logic will not take you far enough
I’ve been the one. I can use logic as well as the next person. And if I don’t get answers that make sense I can stand confident in my conclusions until I have enough evidence to change my mind. God must earn the right for me to trust him because my understanding is king.
Except: I don’t understand how television works. To me, TV defies logic. Yet I still use it. Same with the motherboard of this laptop, and Pandora, and my wife’s intuition when she discerned that the homeless couple I wanted to help wasn’t really homeless and then later they returned the groceries we bought for them and tried to get a refund for cash.
And I don’t understand how an internal combustion engine can have all those little explosions going on every single second for years and propel a car a couple hundred thousand miles. But I don’t argue. I don’t have to understand. I just keep driving my 4Runner.
So do I insist that God’s ways must make sense before I trust, but mystery and ignorance are just fine for the other parts of my life?
Once I get on the logic train, I need keep going and ask, “What unimaginable logic would allow God to permit something bad to happen AND to be in control AND to be good AND to be loving? All at the same time?
I don’t know. The train stops before you get there. But it’s the same unimaginable logic that engineered, permitted, and governed the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus. NOBODY understood that at the time. Yet, it all fit.
God could have enacted a plan that didn’t include the suffering and death of his son, but he didn’t.
He doesn’t leave himself out of the consequences of his own plan. He doesn’t leave me out, either.
I can fight, resist, and argue, but I’ll be on my own because my God will not be big enough for me. Or I can agree and trust him and allow him to be my comfort and my strength as he makes the confusion, waiting, regret, and hopelessness fit.
Does he really conquer giants?
And call out kings?
Shut the mouths of lions?
Tell the dead to breathe?
Does he walk through fire? Tear down walls? Set the prisoners free?
Does he fill the hills with angel armies only faith can see?
What are you trying to believe right now, even though you don’t understand?
* * * * *
The Everything Fits affirmation:
is engineered or permitted or governed by a sovereign, just, loving God who always has three good things in mind
1) to develop my personal relationship and intimacy with him
2) to accomplish his purposes in the world, and
3) to further his own awesome, unmeasurable aims that are bigger than my ability to understand.
Therefore, whether it’s past, present, or future, I can have confidence and peace that somehow, someway, Everything Fits Even When It Doesn’t, and I will trust and cooperate with God in the fitting.