Bigger, Better, Smarter, Holier, Higher

Have you noticed that sometimes people find God while going through difficulty, hardship, or loss? Countless people have told me they felt “closer” to God while going through a dark season. 

Humans seem to turn on their God radar when facing a struggle that is bigger than themselves. God can be found in difficult times. However, rarely do we understand what God is trying to accomplish when we are going through the storm. Even if we get a glimpse of what God might be doing, we can’t grasp how he uses bad circumstances to reach his good goals. His plan does not look like a plan we would follow if we were attempting to reach the same goal.

God is just bigger, better, smarter, holier and higher than us. When we try to explain the ways of God, we move into places that are above our pay grade. We tend to experience one of two outcomes when we try to explain the unexplainable God:

  1. We grow frustrated and obstinate. We try to grasp the parts of God that are beyond our reach. This leads us to either not believe in God at all or to only believe in the God that is limited to our understanding. If the only god we can believe in is one we can fully understand, then we are forced into believing in a false god. 
  2. We accept God is greater than our ability to understand. We learn to humbly trust him. We speak and act on the truths we understand, and by faith, we live with the parts we do not. We trust the character of God more than we trust our ability to understand God.

When humans wade through a crisis, they will either run to God or run away from him. Those who run to him will accept by faith that God is loving, helping, and revealing himself. Those who run away from him will discredit his existence by making claims that “if there is a God he would surely end the crisis.” Some people will “faith” their way through what they do not understand. Others will not.

Why is God allowing this to happen? What are the reasons God might have for letting this pathogen attack our planet? How could this disease be something God uses as a tool to accomplish his good purposes?

I don’t know the answer to any of those questions. But I do know this, the greatness of God should humble us not frustrate us. We are not the first to wrestle with God and his ways. The Apostle Paul wrote:

Oh, how great are God’s riches and wisdom and knowledge! How impossible it is for us to understand his decisions and his ways! For who can know the Lord’s thoughts? Who knows enough to give him advice? And who has given him so much that he needs to pay it back? For everything comes from him and exists by his power and is intended for his glory. All glory to him forever! Amen. (Romans 11:33-36)

Even as I read those words and look at what is going on in our world, I must scratch my head. I simply don’t understand the ways of God. Fortunately, I don’t have to understand. I just have to accept God is bigger, better, smarter, holier and higher than me. I trust him. Please join me.

Here is a song I’ve been listening to that encourages me. May it encourage you.

Nobody by Casting Crowns

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