when you’re left scratching your head

Written by Dave Truman

Husband, Dad, Son, Follower of Christ, &. Trying to live out James 1:27

October 22, 2011

I have a couple of friends who willingly engage in theological discussions with me. One is a Pastor with a Doctorate from Southern Seminary. The other is studying to be a Pastor and a Church Planter. Whereas I am just a guy who has too much time to think, so I am generally the first to come up with some lame brained idea. Then after my friends correct me with a verbal smack to the head, I will shrug my shoulders and give up. It is something I learned from John MacArthur (aka Johnny Mac) after I heard him utter the most liberating words in Theological study…

“I don’t know.”

Recently we were ranging across the topic of sovereignty and will of God. We wound around to close the conversation with a universal assent that the point we had reached was too big for our little minds to understand. We had tried to figure it out. We were trying to understand the mind of God and determine how He works with our tiny little minds that can’t even figure out how to set the clock on the microwave. What a bunch of doofusses we are, trying to figure out God!

However, during this conversation, I stumbled across something that helped me with my perspective.

I can see His creation from the stars in the sky down to the few remaining hairs on my head – that what I can visibly observe. When I take advantage of modern technology, I can “see” out to the edge of our galaxy and down to the level of microbes. Yet, even with the benefit of our technology, what I can see of God’s vast creation is only in part.

Much like looking through a telescope limits my field of vision to a pretty narrow view, what I can see of creation is only a pretty small piece.

What else exists beyond the edge of our known galaxy? I don’t know.

What else exists down underneath our skin? I don’t know that either.

Why does God do what He does? I don’t know.

Why are children born blind? I don’t know.

How does God maintain His sovereignty while allowing us some manner of choice? I don’t know.

Insert your own conundrum here and the answer might still be “I don’t know”. If Johnny Mac, Dr. Duncan, and Job can all admit that they don’t understand something about God, then maybe it is OK or the rest of us.

“Then Job answered the LORD and said, ‘I know that You can do all things, and that no purpose of Yours can be thwarted. Who is this that hides counsel without knowledge? Therefore I have declared that which I did not understand, Things too wonderful for me, which I did not know. Hear, now, and I will speak; I will ask You, and You instruct me. I have heard of You by the hearing of the ear; But now my eye sees You; Therefore I retract, and I repent in dust and ashes.” Job 42:1-6

1 Comment

  1. Keri

    I love that Job reference at the end.  And, can I just say that I wish there were more “weird” people who liked to talk theology?  Faith is something to be wrestled with, not blindy accepted with no sense of understanding or ability to explain.  Sure there are some things we may never fully understand and comprehend-that’s why it’s called faith.  But, God also says that He grants wisdom to those who seek, answers to those who question.  He is a God who invites us to approach His throne boldly, not with hubris, but with expectation. 

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when you’re left scratching your head

by Dave Truman time to read: 3 min
1