The Paradox of Understanding


2008
seemed to be my year of ‘losing things’ and of being stripped away from
all my comforts and what’s left? Well, just me. And God likes it that
way, doesn’t He? We’re so much easier about listening to Him when we
have less distractions, fewer burdens, etc. God loves a broken and
contrite spirit. (Isaiah 57:15)

I keep coming back to one
particular verse as 2008 comes to a close. Proverbs 4:7 is making more
and more sense, while it continues to baffle me. (God digs those
paradoxes, too, huh? His Word is full of them!) It’s a lot to
contemplate.

Wisdom is supreme; therefore get wisdom. Though it cost all you have, get understanding. Proverbs 4:7

Here are some thoughts and questions I have on this:
-
How can we possibly gain understanding in the first place? God says
that His ways are not our ways, and His thoughts lofty compared to
ours. (Isaiah 55:8 & 9)

- Job asked questions. Habakkuk
asked questions. Did they get answers? Nope. If I asked, would I get
answers? Probably not, but if I did, would I even understand them?

- Perhaps the understanding we are to gain is that we won’t understand it at all. (Ooh, another paradox…)

-
I find that in prayer, especially recently, when I ask questions, I
feel peace. I’m reminded of the peace that passes understanding.
Although I doubt my attitude sometimes, and I get frustrated that I
feel like I have no control on many aspects of life, I feel peace.
That’s reassuring since it is fruit-bearing. That’s a good sign!
(Philippians 4:6-7)

- It is appropriate to question God. (Gasp!)
Job did. Habakkuk did. Gideon did. Thomas did. David even accused God
of turning His back on Him.

What is NOT appropriate is losing faith in the Sovereign One that knows all those things we cannot comprehend nor predict.

What
is NOT appropriate is to let Satan use those questions to let anger,
bitterness, or resentment into the hearts we are to guard so closely.

What is NOT appropriate is to grab the steering wheel again.

What is NOT appropriate is to bargain with God to make good things happen again.

What
is NOT appropriate is to feel guilt about our past and assume, while in
the midst of God’s silence, that we don’t deserve His Love, His Grace,
or His Forgiveness.

Forget understanding – let’s go for more! I
believe that part of understanding is knowing you are not in control,
and cannot understand, and having faith in God’s Promise in Romans 8:28.

Remember
that scene in Toy Story near the end when Buzz Lightyear is flying to
catch up to the moving truck and the mini-van in front of it? Buzz is
carrying Woody and all of Andy’s other toys are in a box in the back of
the moving truck. Woody assumes they are headed for the other toys and
it looks like they are going to miss it. He says something to Buzz
about overshooting the moving van. Buzz says, “We’re not aiming for the
truck.” And then he flies right into the sunroof of the van and they
land next to Andy.

I’m going to be like Buzz. I’m not aiming for understanding. I’m going to land in peace.

For
you, my friends, I wish the same. I hope that you find more peace and
that it replaces questions you have about your own life and some of
those life’s circumstances you’d change if you could.

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