Incomplete without the mind of God
By Beverley Russell
< 18 + 19 Content with the “no” answer +Satisfied with God's answer
20. We are incomplete without the mind of God in suffering
When God took Abraham out to see the stars like the sand of the seashore, and again when He reassured him after the near sacrifice, God was showing him the transcendent, trying to help his understanding of eternity and the blessings that awaited him there. That is also the message of Job, when the relationship between God and Job was tested to the limit, before Job recovered his blessings.
If we are His, as Abraham was, God tells us that that He himself suffers with us in it, in all the uncertainly, the longing and the pain and the lies and the loss, and even in our deaths, with the promises never fulfilled. Then if we accept that, God learns whether we are still clay and serve another, or whether we are truly a light in His image and are truly His. If we are truly His, behold we are His servants and are pleased to do His will. He holds the measure, and He has spared us to recover our strength to reflect His purpose. He needs us to be satisfied that at present we cannot grasp that and that it is later that we receive the blessings and promises fulfilled. And what does He say reassuringly? “The word is near you, in your mouth, and in your heart".
When that beleaguered servant, Job, under siege, hears God’s message in the whirlwind,
“Who is this that darkeneth counsel by words without knowledge?”
“Where were you when I laid the foundation s of the earth?”
“Have the gates of death been opened unto thee?”
“Or hast thou seen the doors of the shadow of death?”
“Declare if thou knowest it all …”
he knows that he knows not about any of that.
So God tells us that our knowledge is incomplete, science is important, and He allows, even encourages, us to be as close as we can to understanding, but our understanding will always be incomplete and limited. But to forget the limits where God has placed us is dangerous. Our personal existence or the creation of our earth, or the far flung universe will never be fully understood and is completely beyond our grasp. So is the search by man himself sufficient meaning for man’s existence? Yes, for it is God who allows it and it is He who sets the limit.
"Blessed are those who have learned to acclaim you, who walk in the light of your presence, O LORD, They rejoice in your name all the day long; they exalt in your righteousness".
The imbalance in the world is also beyond our grasp. There is no seeming connection between virtue and reward and there is no seeming connection between evil and punishment in this world of ours. The randomness of violence and goodness does not seem to instruct us well. We are puzzled by all the philosophical problems that this seeming imbalance bring to mind, unless we realize that God lays the carpet beneath our feet, and often with an unexpected layer. He has assured us often. He is there with us in the most heinous tribulation, to lift us up and to mould us from clay into His shining light, but He still holds the measure of good and evil, reward and punishment. We cannot read or gauge those measures.
What we cannot grasp must not add to our confusion. It must indicate to us that God is in charge of time and space and all the supposed anomalies, and the seeming imbalance, and so we hold on. If we feel all knowing and wise, then there is no need for God. Conversely the more we realize that we do not know, and that we lack wisdom, the more we can bring ourselves, in our incompleteness, to His feet and say “take me” for in my flesh I am nothing.