Being content in ambiguity

Children have a delightful way of investigating the world around them.

They reach out, touching, smelling and feeling everything they can get their hands on. They question, enquire and will keep pressing until they get a satisfactory answer. They have such a straightforward and determined pursuit of knowledge.

This need to understand is a fundamental human quality. We want to acquire knowledge, not only to make sense of our lives, but also to know how to live them well.

This questioning ability, while essential, does come with its downfalls, especially when attempting to comprehend spiritual matters. What if some things are just not meant for us to understand or, going further, what if we don’t even have the capacity to understand? I used to think that the lack of definitive answers meant my faith was blind and weak. But that is what happens when you try to use human logic to explain the actions and existence of an infinite God.

When we read the bible, we frequently project traits of humanity and logic onto both God and the supernatural. It makes sense that we do this, as how else can we relate to such matters? But when we enter the dangerous world of anthropomorphism (attributing human characteristics to objects or animals or even God) we attempt to squeeze the incomprehensible into our small box of human understanding, thus lessening its glorious and extraordinary nature.

When we look through this lens, it doesn’t make sense that God allows people to suffer. It doesn’t make sense that so many people live in depression and anxiety. It doesn't make sense why some people don’t get healed. The list goes on and on. This is where we must remove ourselves as the judge, humble ourselves and remind ourselves of God’s goodness, grace and mercy.

One of the reasons that God came to earth as Jesus is so we could better relate to the supernatural. He placed himself at our level of comprehension. We relate to Him because He lived in our world of understanding. It is true that God has given us brains to embrace the spiritual side of the universe, but why are we surprised when we don’t fully comprehend the workings of infinite God?

I am not saying that we shouldn’t question, ponder and wrestle with the tough questions in life. I am also not saying that we shouldn’t grapple with what the bible says and attempt to understand. Doing so demonstrates a desire to know God deeper, an intent to develop our relationship with Him.

What I am saying is that we shouldn’t let our intellectual pride keep us from living in faith.
Keep questioning and lamenting, just don’t use them as a way to build walls between you and God. We may never understand why that person suffered the way they did, or why you have been hurt the way you have.

We can learn to live content in ambiguity because we have a God whose goodness, grace and mercy are definite.

Ettie Robins