I’ve been dealing with a lot of tough questions lately; from skeptics to veteran Christians; subjects ranging from God’s existence to God’s fairness; does He play favorites and does He preselect some for redemption; why doesn’t He stop evil or prevent tragedies? Working with deep thinkers and the educated makes it difficult to say things like “it’s not for us to know, now” or “His ways are so above our ways.” That does seem like escapism to me as well. Convert it to human terms, my mom has three Master’s Degrees. When I was 6 years old, I had no concept of gas chromatography, recrystallization, spectroscopy, or the citric acid cycle. I’m older, I’ve read a couple of books, and I have a better understanding, not by much, of these icky subjects. Yes, there were some things I couldn’t grasp then, and dare I say not even now.
“O LORD, you have examined my heart and know everything about me. You know when I sit down or stand up. You know my every thought when far away. You chart the path ahead of me and tell me where to stop and rest. Every moment you know where I am. You know what I am going to say even before I say it, LORD. You both precede and follow me. You place your hand of blessing on my head. Such knowledge is too wonderful for me, too great for me to know! I can never escape from your spirit! I can never get away from your presence! If I go up to heaven, you are there; if I go down to the place of the dead, you are there. If I ride the wings of the morning, if I dwell by the farthest oceans, even there your hand will guide me, and your strength will support me.
You made all the delicate, inner parts of my body and knit me together in my mother’s womb. Thank you for making me so wonderfully complex! Your workmanship is marvelous — and how well I know it. You watched me as I was being formed in utter seclusion, as I was woven together in the dark of the womb. You saw me before I was born. Every day of my life was recorded in your book. Every moment was laid out before a single day had passed. How precious are your thoughts about me, O God! They are innumerable! I can’t even count them; they outnumber the grains of sand! And when I wake up in the morning, you are still with me!” (Psalm 139: 1-10, 13-18)
God is our Creator
“…you laid the foundation of the earth, and the heavens are the work of your hands” (Heb. 1:10). Now, the Earth is the 5th of 8 planets in size. It’s the home to millions of species where abiotic conditions allow for the proliferation of aerobic life form. It weighs in at 5.98 × 1024 kg, comprised of iron (32.1%), oxygen (30.1%), silicon (15.1%), magnesium (13.9%), sulfur (2.9%), nickel (1.8%), calcium (1.5%), and aluminum (1.4%). The Crust is up to 20 miles thick with a Mantle 1800 miles thick (80% of the earth’s volume) and a Core – up to 7,000 miles thick.
Now think of this: He put everything their place. He’s a big, mighty, awesome, amazing, powerful God who built it in 6 days give or take thousands or millions of years depending on your stance. But it goes on. The heavens are far beyond the Earth: Vast…Immense. Just our galaxy, the Milky Way has a diameter 9.5×1017 km and a thickness (9.5×1015 km) including up to 4 billion stars, with the Sun only being 1 of them.
Among all His creations, humans had the ability to have a relationship with Him. All their needs were provided for: health, conditions, food, companionship, a home. But we took His blessing, stomped on it, and said “God, skip you!”
We had everything yet wanted MORE…as if that’s possible. So yes, God has a very active role in our lives. We are the ones who pull away.
God is our Savior
Humans multiply, not just in number but wickedness, perversity and evil. God says: “Do Over! Big flood, clean everything and let’s start over.” He searches for centuries for a faithful man to bless the world: Abraham. Isaac. Jacob. Joseph. 400 years of slavery. Moses leads Israel out of Egypt. Desert experience. God had mercy on His people and gave them the way out of judgment again, leading them to a permanent home. They once again stomped on God’s promises so he came up with the ultimate sacrifice: His own first born Son (John 3:16). The easiest thing would have been to let us die in our guilt but He’s proven how far He’s willing to go to protect our relationship. Yet, through our actions we again say His suffering and sacrifice weren’t good enough. Daily, we try to come up with our own solutions. Christ wants a very active role in our lives, not wanting us to be harmed, destroyed, hurt, or condemned. We are the ones who pull away.
God is our Father
Our world is grieving for loss of a father: the affirmation, affection, encouragement, love. There’s a pandemic crisis of absent fathers whether physically or emotionally, often manifesting itself in cruelty, hate, and abuse. Unfortunately, our view of God is filtered through our earthly fathers. We don’t see Him as loving, caring, and benevolent but a conditional, punitive, works based God. The way to counteract this tainted perspective is to spend time with God through prayer and worship…talking to Him. Then we read His message of love through the Scriptures. Only then can we get a true picture of the Father’s heart. We’ll find He’s not unfair, silent, or hidden. Once again, God is here in a very participatory manner. We are the ones who turn away from Him.
“’The Lord has forsaken me, the Lord has forgotten me.’ Can a mother forget her nursing child? Can she feel no love for a child she has borne? But even if that were possible, I would not forget you! See, I have written your name on my hand” (Isaiah 49:14-16)
“For you did not receive a spirit that makes you a slave again to fear, but you received the Spirit of sonship. And by him we cry, ‘Abba, Father’” (Romans 8:15).
Lord, forgive me for my hardened heart and my lack of faith. Help me to grow in my relationship with You; to see You, love you, and know. I was saved for a purpose, most of all to worship You. Amen.