“Oh, the depth of the riches of the wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable his judgments, and his paths beyond tracing out! Who has known the mind of the Lord? Or who has been his counselor? Who has ever given to God that God should repay him? For from him and through him and to him are all things. To him be the glory forever! Amen.” (Romans 11:33-36).
That is the very frustration we have concerning God and the negative, heartbreaking events of life. We want to know why! So many questions and doubts, so much hurt and anger, God why don’t you do what we want? Why don’t you do what we think we know is best? Why the suffering? Why the death? Why the hatred? Why does it all go on and on, again and again? We want to know the depth of the riches of the wisdom and knowledge of God. If we could only search his judgments and know his mind!
The words of the apostle Paul paradoxically depict the very reality of God that gives us comfort, strength, and hope in the midst of the darkest night. “This is how God showed his love among us: He sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through him” (1 John 4:9). God’s love assures us that the depth of the riches of God’s wisdom and knowledge are shaped by his love. Though we find it so difficult to understand the dark and tragic side of our lives, God’s love in Christ assures us of the righteousness, justice, goodness, and love of God’s judgments and purpose.
If we understood all there is to understand of God, if there was no mystery, would God be God? Likely the understanding we want is that of a god who fits our image of what a god should be like. What a small god that is.
As frustrating as the mystery of God can be, the fact God is greater than I am able to comprehend is a foundational strength for my faith and assurance of hope.