I have put God in a box; I put limits on Him, on His power and His goodness.
But I think everyone has God in a box. It’s not necessarily on purpose or out of pride, but because our human minds cannot even begin to contemplate the unfathomable existence of God.
It bothers me a little when people say their reason for not believing in God is because He seems contradictory to them. The argument that God can’t be good and allow suffering at the same time is backed up with the statement, “I just can’t reconcile these two traits in my mind.”
Another argument is how a loving God can send people to hell. I know this pain acutely; three of my favorite people in the world do not know the Lord, as well as many of my own flesh and blood family members.
Does that mean God isn’t real? Does that make Him a liar and a hypocrite? Of course not! To say so would be to judge God and claim I know better than Him.
When we use these arguments, we are basically saying since we don’t fully understand the nature of God, then He cannot possibly exist, or that He exists but is not as powerful and/or loving as He claims. But I believe that if we did fully understand His nature, then He could not exist. At least, the God of the Bible couldn’t exist.
I do not serve a God who can be understood by men. I do not want to serve a God that can be understood by men. God is meant to be unfathomable, otherwise He would not be God. We could study the Bible all our lives and still not know all there is to know about Him. We still could not understand Him completely.
The very definition of the word ‘unfathomable’ means the human brain is incapable of comprehending it. If we could, then we wouldn’t need God; we would be gods.
It is foolish to say that because we don’t understand what He is up to, that means He doesn’t exist. It is equally foolish for me to say that any situation is hopeless, that anyone is ‘too far gone,’ or that nothing can be done.
Furthermore, it’s prideful and sinful. I’m making a claim that I know more than God and that God is lying to me and saying He is all powerful and loving when He is not.
God is great and He is good. All the time. How do I know this? Because He said so. That probably sounds simplistic and naïve, and people can disagree with me if they want. It’s not on me to convince others of God’s existence. Their disbelief does not negate reality. He will work in their hearts if He so chooses.
Rom. 9 is one of my favorite passages in the Bible because of verses like 9:15 where God says:
“I will have mercy on whomever I will have mercy, and I will have compassion on whomever I will have compassion.”
Because He is all powerful, He does not need to explain Himself or His actions to me or anyone else. He can do whatever He wants. Even when I’m in pain and don’t understand, God is still God. And I’m still not.
We all have God-boxes, whether we know it or not. Many people have convinced themselves that their box is empty. It isn’t. God is real, and He is everywhere, and He is so much more infinitely huge than you can possibly believe. He is more powerful and more good than you can ever know. And His love for you is unfathomable.
I would encourage you today to examine your own understanding of God and realize and accept that it is and always will be incomplete. Rather than discouraging you, this fact should inspire you to find out as much as you can about this awesome and immeasurable God. Because He is there, He is good, and He is in control, whether we understand it or not.
(Originally published 9/19/13)