Emma was troubled the other day.
It all started when she got to thinking. (This is the source of a lot of Emma’s troubles, honestly.)
“Adam and Eve were the first two people in the world,” she told me. “And the Bible says that they had lots of children, right?”
All true. Yes.
“So, who did their children marry and have more children with?”
Good question. I gave her a few of my own.
Do we believe the Bible is true? Yes. Do we believe the Bible is without error? Yes. Do we believe that the stories in the Bible are literal, about real people and real events? Yes.
So, if it’s true and literal and contains no error YET we read it and find ourselves perplexed… well, is the problem with the Bible or with us?
“That bothers you,” I told her, “because God didn’t do that the way you thought He should. God did what had to be done, even if it’s something that we can’t understand in our time in history and the culture we find ourselves in. Everything He did was right and perfect.”
She could agree to that, even if she was still confused. (Which is good theology. You know, agreeing that God’s ways are greater than ours, even when we’re still confused.)
It was providential that Emma and I had this discussion because the very next day, I found myself studying a passage in 2 Samuel where God was not acting like I thought He should. It was troubling, reading what God had purposed in His mind to do to King David and the people of Israel, and it was downright uncomfortable to see Him act on all that He had planned. He wasn’t the peace-loving, flowing haired Jesus that we like to make Him out to be. No, in that passage He was an angry, calculating, vengeful God.
And it bothered me.
But it’s Scripture. He’s God. I’m not. His ways are greater than mine, even if I don’t understand them.
I find myself clinging to this truth these days. I don’t always understand how He’s working, why He does what He does, or what His purpose is in ordaining life to play out like it does. What’s that about, you know? God, I think You should work this way, not that way. And yet, there He goes, doing what He wants, not what I want.
Is He greater than me? Are His ways greater than mine? Are His purposes greater than my purposes?
Oh, most definitely.
We get caught up in thinking of God in our context, playing by our rules. But He’s beyond our very understanding, so it should be no surprise that He’s beyond whatever expectations and ideals we have for Him. So, as I walk a road that I don’t entirely understand, I’m comforted to know that I will know Him better as I watch Him broaden my understanding of just who the great I AM actually is. As my lack of understanding draws me further into Scripture, I’m encouraged that He meets me where I’m at and answers some of my questions, even if there are some left that only He can answer.
I’m so thankful that no matter what I go through, I know that He is greater than all that I face.
So, so thankful…