I wanted to follow up on the idea that even though we can’t completely fathom the mind of God or understand His ways (see Romans 11:33 as one of many scriptural references on this topic), we are not left clueless about His character. I love the way “Who You Are” by J.J. Heller makes this point – that in the face of tragedy we may not understand what or why, but we can absolutely know God’s character because of who He is and what He has revealed about himself.
In class this Sunday, we studied John 14. This is a rich passage, and one of the things that struck me forcefully after writing the previous post is what Jesus says in verses 7-10 (my emphasis):
“If you had known me, you would have known my Father also. From now on you do know him and have seen him.” Philip said to him, “Lord, show us the Father, and it is enough for us.” Jesus said to him, “Have I been with you so long, and you still do not know me, Philip? Whoever has seen me has seen the Father. How can you say, ‘Show us the Father’? Do you not believe that I am in the Father and the Father is in me? The words that I say to you I do not speak on my own authority, but the Father who dwells in me does his works.”
We do know the Father because we have seen Him in His Son. We do not have to shrug our shoulders when tragedy strikes and pretend not to know that God is love. Did Jesus send tornadoes to strike little children dead, or did he return Jairus’ daughter to life? Did Jesus torment people with disease as punishment for their sins, or did He heal?