So today, I got blessed. Like mega-, uber-, super-blessed. Like I would go out on a limb to describe it as a healing miracle (and I would normally err on the side of the ‘English’ understatement with that sort of thing). I am vaguely aware of counting my chickens, but actually they’re God’s chickens, so I think that makes my grounds for optimism more robust.
But while at first I was pretty dumb-struck, I was actually quick to brush it away, to see it as ‘natural’ as if God and ‘nature’ were two independent entities. And I think that’s because I can’t explain a lot of what God does. I can’t explain why He takes away some burdens, and not others, why He blesses me over and over and yet so much else seems chaotic and without purpose. It’s terrifying not knowing.
But I don’t need to know in order to be able to trust (and the word ‘faith’ in Ancient Greek meant trust rather than personal belief-system in the way we often use it- just as a totally irrelevant side-note that I was revising the other day). And studying medieval Scholasticism makes you actually pretty grateful that we can just read God’s word and say okay, this doesn’t give me step-by-step instructions as if it was the Dummie’s Guide to How to Become a God and Rule the Universe, rrp. £9.99, but I trust that this is what God wanted to tell me about Himself. Guys like Aquinas must have burst so many blood vessels on questions like how many angels fit onto the head of a pin and, at the Resurrection, what would happen to a man who only ate fetuses. Like, seriously.
Because what actually I would do with the sort of knowledge that meant I could understand, predict, and rationalise His every move would be to take possession of it for myself and put God out of the picture. So say I wanted to know God’s plan for my life, and He revealed it to me in all its precise detail, I would probably go ‘cheers for that’ and dismiss Him. Relationship with God done; God back inside Aladdin’s lamp.
Proverbs 9:10: “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom, and knowledge of the Holy One is understanding.”
Understanding starts with awe; trying to work God out for ourselves would lead to the opposite, us anticipating and effectively controlling God.
So I can’t have all the answers- yet anyway. But I can have awe, gratitude and praise. And they make for better songs.