Marvelous Beyond Understanding…the Beauty of the Mystery

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As we approach the start of the holiday season (or any anticipated event, for that matter), there is an air of excitement that seems to pervade attitudes of young and old alike. For children, the thrill of Thanksgiving or Christmas likely lies in getting things: presents, toys, parties, food…kids have no trouble receiving joyously. As adults, however, our preferences and priorities tend to shift somewhat. We may be eager for taking time off work, or for being with loved ones or going to church services.
This same mentality tends to pervade a lot of our perspectives as we mature. Whereas young children bounce out of bed eager to start the day and fight the prospect of a nap, as adults we often wish we could take time for naps and long for bedtime. We might beg our children to finish the food on their plates; as adults we try to avoid finishing our own. Birthdays are a cause of count down and celebration for kids; as the years creep up we try to avoid thinking about them as adults. A young boy may hate the idea of kissing a bride at a wedding and hope for a quick sealing high five… an expectant bridegroom grows giddy at the idea of taking a bride (and what comes after…).
In a sense, we tend to be spiritually childlike. So much that God gives us is a glorious and profound mystery. We debate and question doctrinal details, wondering over and re-hashing ideas surrounding things like the Trinity, free will, or end times. We ponder and imagine Heaven, worried that it might be a place devoid of certain hobbies or habits we currently enjoy. We pray, but sometimes wonder why we bother if God already has the outcome planned. We wonder why and how things happen.
Yet God’s ways are not our ways. His timing is beyond comprehension. His being, beauty, all parts of Him are outside our realm of imagination. We cannot even begin to capture the entirety of His plans or His universe. He is too marvelous for understanding and what He has given us as humans is unfathomable. So just as the child has different favorites and wishes as the adult, so as people on earth there is much we cannot know or understand. There are certain longings and hints that God places within us. We feel a desire stirring and know He is there, yet we cannot fully comprehend who He is. And this is a beautiful thing, in a sense. We can seek God. We can hope for Him and long for Him, but we can also perplex ourselves wondering about details or contradictions. He has the answers. And just as the child trusts the seasoned parent or teacher, we must trust the Father. We cannot know all things now. But God knows all things. He has done all things for us, and will reveal in due time. For the present season, or the present lifetime, our task is to love and trust, setting our sights on God and on things not yet seen, but gorgeous beyond all understanding.
He replied, “Why do you ask my name? It is beyond understanding.[a]” -Judges 13:18
God’s voice thunders in marvelous ways;
he does great things beyond our understanding. -Job 37:5
Since ancient times no one has heard,
no ear has perceived,
no eye has seen any God besides you,
who acts on behalf of those who wait for him. -Isaiah 64:4
“This is what the Lord says, he who made the earth, the Lord who formed it and established it—the Lord is his name: 3 ‘Call to me and I will answer you and tell you great and unsearchable things you do not know.’ -Jeremiah 33:3
Oh, the depth of the riches of the wisdom and[i] 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?”[j]
“Who has ever given to God,
that God should repay them?”[k]
For from him and through him and for him are all things.
To him be the glory forever! Amen. -Romans 11:33-36

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