Sunday, July 14, 2013

No matter where you are in your life, or how much intelligence or experience you have, there will always be times when you’re out of your depth with God.

And that’s a good thing.

A week ago, my oldest daughter was married. The wedding was this glorious, radiant, magical affair, after weeks of one issue arising after another, only to be resolved. I try not to toss around the term “miracle” lightly, but some of them were fairly close to miraculous. At the least, we could sense God’s hand on the whole situation, shifting, covering, working things out where we could not.

On the backside of that event, I feel completely emptied and poured out. And for my personal devotional reading, for some reason I landed in the book of Lamentations, and have kept reading into Ezekiel.

I can’t explain the compulsion to keep reading there, and not switch to another portion of scripture, but I have to say ... sometimes I’m really weirded out by God.

What is up with the complete destruction of Jerusalem and the nation of Judah? As a practiced Bible scholar, I know that in perspective with what came before, it’s like a child who pushes his father so hard, so long, that he finally gets enough and plunks the child down in a time-out that will last, oh, at least six months. But up close? It’s harsh. Especially the revolting descriptions of desperation so profound that parents resort to eating their own children.

And what about the slippery description of the four living creatures attending the person of God Himself? Is that really how they appear, or was that just their chosen manifestation in our realm for that particular time? Regardless, I can almost feel Ezekiel’s terror and awe, and his frantic grasping at words while knowing he just doesn’t—and can’t—quite capture it.

I’m not saying the Bible is not divinely inspired or perfect in its own right—not at all. I’m just saying, in our humanness, we can’t grasp all of it. And sometimes, we don’t grasp it at all.

And this is a good thing. We fear what we can’t understand—but “the fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom.” Realizing our limits. Catching a glimpse of how incredibly vast God is ... of how He’s capable of “exceedingly abundantly more than we ask or think.” The apostle Paul piled on those superlatives for a reason.

He’s more ... in our weakness.

He’s more ... in our need.

In our fear, in our anger, in our desperation ... He’s more.

In our pride and selfishness? He’s still gloriously more.

If He weren’t more—if we could understand it all, if we didn’t face the expanse of all that He is, and feel sheer terror at the threat of drowning there—could He be God?

I think not. But I’m glad that He is, even if sometimes I feel so completely boggled by what I find in His word. Because that’s what makes it possible for something like a humble wedding to come together with impossible perfection.

28 Have you not known?
Have you not heard?
The everlasting God, the Lord,
The Creator of the ends of the earth,
Neither faints nor is weary.
His understanding is unsearchable.
29 He gives power to the weak,
And to those who have no might He increases strength.
30 Even the youths shall faint and be weary,
And the young men shall utterly fall,
31 But those who wait on the Lord
Shall renew their strength;
They shall mount up with wings like eagles,
They shall run and not be weary,
They shall walk and not faint.
(Isaiah 40, NKJV)


  1. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  2. Our pastor's sermon today was on part of Revelation 20 and different belief systems regarding hell...and it really is hard sometimes to grapple with these difficult truths presented in the Bible! I appreciate your honesty here and your statement of trust despite (and through) your struggles. In the end God has told us who He is and revealed Himself to us, and it's beyond wonderful to know that we can rest in that. :) Thank you for sharing!



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