My sister once told me that she couldn’t believe what was written in the bible because Genesis talks about people living hundreds of years, and she just didn’t think that was possible. All it took was one thing she couldn’t understand for her to discount the entire bible.
I suspect we’ve all come across people like this, maybe even ourselves at times; there’s something in the bible we don’t understand, and since we feel we should be able to understand, we choose not to believe. After all, why should I believe in something (like God), I cannot possibly understand?
I was reminded of this tendency last night, as I was channel surfing on the TV. I stumbled upon a movie where the particular scene had Jewish concentration camp prisoners putting God on trial*. Their verdict was that God was guilty of putting them in the concentration camp (since I didn’t see the whole thing, I may be wrong). They came to that verdict by analyzing God’s actions as recorded in the Old Testament. There was so much about God’s actions that they simply did not understand, so they condemned God because of that lack of understanding.
* (it was a Masterpiece Theater show appropriately titled, “God on Trial”)
What might Jesus have to say about our apparent need to understand all His ways?
“I tell you the truth, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.” (Matthew 18:3)
Jesus is telling us that we need to have the faith of a child. Look at it from this perspective: in no way can a child understand all the ways of their parents. Yet, the child still believes in their parents, and loves them unconditionally. So it should be with us and God. True faith is accepting the fact that we cannot possibly understand why God allows certain things to happen. We just accept and believe anyway.
Also, why is it that so many of us have this need to understand all? Simple… ego. Our ego is hungry and wants to understand. And if our ego is not satisfied, it may cause us to act like a child who throws its toy because they are not happy with the answer.
So I guess we all have a choice. We can be a spoiled brat type of child, or a child whose love is not tied to conditions of needing to understand all.
Something to think about on Martin Luther King’s birthday.