“the seed sprouts and grows, he knows not how.” v.27
Another joyous challenge of teaching teens is that they are so full of questions. In my Bible class there is no shortage of them. “Who created God?” , “Where did Cain get his wife?” , “Why did God put the tree in the garden?” Sometimes I’m able to give an answer, and quite honestly, many times I can only wrestle with the question with them. I often encourage them to ask the hard questions, because even if you can’t always get an answer, the struggle can strengthen you. I have no problem believing in a God in whom there is great mystery. While it can be frustrating at times, and I often have to rub the knot on my forehead that comes from banging my head against His unfathomable ways, it’s good to know the universe is being run by someone infinitely more brilliant than me. How sad it is, though, to encounter someone who simply will not believe in God because there are unanswered questions. Some will say, “God doesn’t make sense” or “I don’t see how God could…” or “It seems to me that if there were a God then such and such would not happen.” Then they choose to dismiss God because he has not fit into their understanding how things should be. It’s as if they are saying, “God can only exist within the parameters of my mind.” I find this laughable and sad at the same time. Does one really imagine that they are of such a great intellect that they can grasp the universe and all its complexities and determine whether or not a God can exist based on a finite understanding of reality? In other words, just because you don’t get it, doesn’t mean it aint real! There is great mystery in God’s creation, and in God himself. There always will be. Jesus made this quite simple in his parable of the seed. He says, “The kingdom of God is as if a man should scatter seed on the ground. He sleeps and rises night and day, and the seed sprouts and grows, he knows not how.” Simply put, the farmer doesn’t have to know how a seed works, he just has to plant it. What a profound truth about faith, God and the universe. While I truly appreciate science and its advances, and I believe the universe was created for exploration and study, I also believe that in our search for truth a little humility is in order. We are not infinite, and there will always be more out there than we can ever know. For those who would dismiss God on the basis of unanswered questions I would simply ask, Do you have to understand something before it has your permission to exist? Did the seed exist before we learned how it works? Did gravity exist before Sir Isaac Newton realized it was there? Then why can’t we acknowledge that God is real even though shrouded in mystery at times? I don’t know how God can hear and deal with so many prayers at once, but I’ve had too many “coincidences” to stop praying now. I don’t know how trusting in the death of a man who was executed 2000 years ago can impact so many people on so many levels, from so many backgrounds, and shape so many cultures, but there’s something uniquely powerful about that Jesus story. You know there is so much in life I don’t understand, but it doesn’t keep me from living. For example:
I don’t know how weather patterns work, but I trust the weather report.
I don’t understand all the laws of physics, and how those great airliners get up in the sky, but I trust the pilot, when I’m flying.
I don’t get all the medical jargon they throw at me at the clinic, but I listen to my doctor.
And I don’t know how an infinite God could run my finite universe and even get personally involved in it, but I trust Him.
One final note. While many things about God don’t make sense to me, this one thing does; Jesus Christ has come, as God in flesh, to introduce the finite to the infinite. It just makes sense that an infinite God would want to connect with His creation, not as a cow, or a stone or a tree, or even as energy, but as one of us. I may not know who created God, but for me this one thing makes perfect sense: “The word became flesh and dwelt among us.” He is here now with you. Don’t try to fit him into your head, just rest in him by faith. It’s really the only reasonable thing to do.