He replied, “What is impossible for people is possible with God.” [Luke 18:27 (NLT)]
For we live by believing and not by seeing. [2 Corinthians 5:7 (NLT)]
We’d taken my daughter and grand-daughter to a magic show and both my husband and grand had participated in two rather impressive illusions. On the way home, we three adults tried to figure out how each trick had been done. We explored various scenarios that might explain how the $50 bill with my husband’s signature on it ended up in the middle of an uncut orange, in a paper bag, and in a locked box that was in another locked box across the stage. We also tried to figure out how the magician used an elaborate series of mathematical calculations to know the age of our grand’s dog in dog years. (The dog, not there and being 105 in dog years, was most definitely not your average dog.) While we pondered various scenarios, my grand piped up, “Stop trying to figure it out. It was magic!” While it was an entertaining show, we know it wasn’t magic; it was just a carefully orchestrated and well-executed series of tricks. Nevertheless, we continued to want to know how each had been done. There is something about us all that wants to make sense of that which makes no sense. Sometimes, however, that can’t be done.
While God doesn’t want unthinking believers, in the end, we finally come to him out of faith, not logic. We come without seeing the Holy Spirit descend like a dove from heaven, without seeing Him walk on water, and without seeing the scars or touching the wounded hands. A virgin giving birth to a God/man, an empty tomb, and a resurrected body that ascended into heaven all defy human logic. Sleight of hand, however, did not turn water into wine, raise Lazarus from the dead, heal lepers, or feed thousands. Sleight of hand did not hold back the Red Sea, multiply one widow’s food and another’s oil, cause the sun and moon to stand still, provide manna from heaven, or keep three men from burning in a fiery furnace. Sleight of hand did not place Esther in Xerxes’ palace exactly when she needed to be there, it did not cause both Elizabeth’s and Hannah’s wombs to open, nor did it cause Paul to become blind. Much in the Bible defies the rules of the world as we know it; we can’t fathom how it could have happened much less how it was done. There are some things in the Bible that simply make no sense in our limited world.
One of the greatest minds of our generation is Stephen Hawking, an English theoretical physicist, cosmologist and avowed atheist who believes the universe is governed by the laws of science. “One of the basic rules of the universe is that nothing is perfect. Perfection simply doesn’t exist,” he says. Well, Hawking is wrong. Perfection did exist, in the person of Jesus of Nazareth. A world limited by human understanding, however, can’t accept the reality of God incarnate. Just because it defies our logic, however, doesn’t mean it didn’t happen. Perhaps the fault lies in our inadequate reasoning and not our belief.
I will still try to figure out any magician’s tricks (out of earshot of my grand), but I won’t try to find human logic and reasoning in the way God works. He’s God; He has His own set of rules and those rules are unlimited—time can stand still, water can flow uphill, and what goes up does not necessarily come down. “There’s no way he can do that!” is only true when we are speaking of men. Remember, with God, all things are possible.
The basic laws of the universe are simple, but because our senses are limited, we can’t grasp them. There is a pattern in creation. If we look at this tree outside whose roots search beneath the pavement for water, or a flower which sends its sweet smell to the pollinating bees, or even our own selves and the inner forces that drive us to act, we can see that we all dance to a mysterious tune, and the piper who plays this melody from an inscrutable distance—whatever name we give him—Creative Force, or God—escapes all book knowledge. [Albert Einstein]