If you can fit all that God does in your box, then you don’t know Him that well. We must leave room for the wonder and mystery of God in how He chooses to speak to us.
It is not the task of Christianity to provide easy answers to every question, but to make us progressively aware of a mystery. God is not so much the object of our knowledge as the cause of wonder.
Contradictions can bring us into touch with a deeper longing, for the fulfillment of a desire that lives beneath all desires and that only God can satisfy. Contradictions, thus understood, create the friction that can help us move toward God.
He is either greater than we can understand, perceive, describe, or imagine, or He is not God—we are.
May we never lose our wonder. Wide-eyed and mystified, may we be just like a child, staring at the beauty of our King.
God’s self-existence means that he is not answerable to us or to anybody. Although He sometimes explains things to us, he does not have to and often he does not. God does not have to explain himself to anybody.
It is the duty of the Christian scholar to look difficulties and objections squarely in the face. Nothing is to be gained by overlooking, evading or shrinking from them. Truth has no cause to fear scrutiny, however rigid and searching.
Our age dislikes intensely the idea of mystery because it directly exposes our limitations. The thought that there could be something, or someone, beyond human comprehension or imagining is, of course, exciting, but it is also belittling. It puts us in our place and that place is not at the centre.
God is often silent when we prefer that he speak, and he interrupts us when we prefer that he stay silent. His ways are not our ways. To live with the sacred God of creation means that we conduct our lives with a God who does not explain himself to us. It means that we worship a God who is often mysterious – too mysterious to fit our formulas for better living. It means that God is not our best friend, our secret lover or our good-luck charm. He is God.
Yes, we can believe God with all of our heart and yet have our heart broken by the loss of a child or the treachery of a spouse or the menace of a fatal disease. We know this is true — everyone in the church knows it. And yet, generation after generation of bruised saints have known something else and spoken of it. In the mystery of faith, we find a hand on us in the darkness, a voice that calls our name, and the sheer certainty that nothing can ever separate us from the love of God — not for this life and not for the life to come. We may be scarred and shaken, but as Lewis Smedes says in one of his sermons, we come to know that it’s all right, even when everything is all wrong.