“This sickness will not end in death. No, it is for God’s glory so that God’s Son may be glorified through it.” John 11:4
With being able to see and sense what is around me, I wonder some times why I can’t figure out what it is all about. Usually the whole is the sum of its parts – or at least this is the logical and rational way we like to think. So if – inversely – I have a bunch of parts then it would seem not too difficult to determine the whole. But this rarely seems to work out for me.
In fact, it sometimes seems that the more life-experiences I accumulate along the way the more difficult it is for me to figure it all out. Do you think this sometimes? If anything, it seems my walk toward what I hope is more maturity actually has me digging up more questions than I had before. The smarter I get, the less smart I become.
And I’ll jump ahead here – this whole idea of learning in order to un-learn is a mystery and paradox to me. It is irrational. In spite of what I want to believe, I honestly and truly sense somehow that a sincere seeker of love and truth and God – regardless of my rational thought and logic – will find unimaginably deep dark byways that likely run square into the essence of God. Unfortunately, I think, I am completely unprepared and will be unable to traverse these paths.
The Preacher wrote in Ecclesiastes 3:11 – “He [God] has made everything beautiful in its time. He has also set eternity in the human heart; yet no one can fathom what God has done from beginning to end.” (NIV)
- “He has made everything beautiful in its time. He has also given men a sense of what he’s been doing down through the ages. But they can’t completely figure out what he’s done from the beginning to the end.” (NIRV)
- “God has made everything fit beautifully in its appropriate time, but he has also placed ignorance in the human heart so that people cannot discover what God has ordained, from the beginning to the end of their lives.” (NET)
- “God made everything beautiful in itself and in its time—but he’s left us in the dark, so we can never know what God is up to, whether he’s coming or going.” (MESSAGE)
- “He has made everything suitable for its time; moreover he has put a sense of past and future into their minds, yet they cannot find out what God has done from the beginning to the end.” (NRSV)
- “Yet God has made everything beautiful for its own time. He has planted eternity in the human heart, but even so, people cannot see the whole scope of God’s work from beginning to end.” (NLT)
The literal Hebrew translation for the word fathom (NIV) in this verse is find out, acquire, figure out, attain. Said another way, “He [God] has made everything beautiful in its time. He has also set eternity in the human heart; yet no one can find out, acquire, figure out, attain what God has done from beginning to end.” (NIV)
I’ll translate in Stimple English (SE) – God has his way with us. Of everything, we are limited in our knowledge of God because that is how God wants it to be. All else is reserved for only God to know.
Take a moment to think about this. (Don’t jump ahead in the story – there is more, of course.) Stop here. Think about what is said in this passage of Scripture. Ponder it. Pontificate on it. What does it mean to me and you? What does this mean to what I know about – well – anything and everything? How big does it make me feel? How small does it make me feel? When I worry about things, how does this make me feel? When I’m on top of the world, what does this make me think? Bottom line – how does this touch my soul and mind?
I like this – the mysteries of God.