We Have No Idea Who We’re Dealing With
by Mike Genung
There are moments during prayer when it hits me that there’s much more to God than I, the church, pastors, or anyone can get close to understanding.
We’re talking about a Being who made the sun; that massive ball of 10,000 degree fire with a radius of some 700,000 kilometers. The sun is more than 100 times the size of the earth; it’s distance from earth is perfect, so we’re given what we need to grow and survive without being incinerated. That boggles my mind.
He designed the human brain, that complex processing center with 100 billion neurons; each neuron with 1,000 – 10,000 synapses. He designed and gave life to people, animals, and plants.
Then I think of what people say about Him. Pastors and Christians try to box Him into a set of principles they call “theology”. Everyone wants to take the Bible, and try to make sense of the pieces in a way that seems right to them.
Except, when I read the Bible, I just don’t know how you can do that. There are some verses that are clear, like “Thou shalt not kill,” or “love others,” but there are some verses that are difficult to package together; men have been debating about which of their doctrine-boxes are right for centuries.
I love what Rich Mullins said : “I think if we were given the scriptures it was not so that we could prove that we were right about everything. If we were given the scriptures it was to humble us into realizing that God is right and the rest of us are just guessing.”
I love it when a pastor says “I don’t know what this means… or how to put it together.” That’s when they leave room for God to be the incredible Being that He is with a wisdom way out of our league to understand. It puts man in his proper context next to the Creator of the Universe.
Then I think about my faith in this incredible Being. Honestly, there have been many times when it’s pathetic. I allow doubts to creep in and get a grip, circumstances to choke me, or I’m wallowing in a mud pile of sin and selfishness where God is far from my mind.
If we believed in God like we say we do, we’d live our lives on a totally different plane. We wouldn’t fear, worry, or doubt so much. Being right wouldn’t be as important as letting God be the one who’s always right; then all we need to do is share what He’s taught us.
I think there is a lot of arrogance among Christians when it comes to God. We spew trite clichés like “God will never give you more than you can handle” and other sound bites of shallow foolishness. People who say things like this have no idea what they’re talking about. There have been plenty of times in my life where I was in way over my head, and like Paul in 2 Corinthians 1, had come to the point of losing hope. I think God stretches us with more pain than we can take to bust up our pride and arrogance and bring us to a place where we need Him so desperately that the only way we’ll get out… or through… is if He shows up.
Every once in a while I get an email from someone who’s lost hope. They’ve struggled with a sin for so long and are in so deep that they’ve resigned themselves to a life of defeat. Or maybe their circumstances have pounded them relentlessly for years and they’re ground to a pulp. Just getting up in the morning is a chore, and they dread having to endure another day. I’ve been in both of these places, and know how hard, terrifying, discouraging, and faith-shattering they can be. Some of the stupid things well-meaning Christians said only made it worse.
When I was going through those times, the place I found my greatest comfort was in God’s word. Man didn’t have the answers, and so all I had left was God. It took a while, but eventually I learned that the God who made the sun and designed the human brain was enough for me. That doesn’t mean that the source of my pain changed, most of the time it didn’t. Eventually, I changed.
Or rather, He changed me.