I cannot give an answer

As many times as I’ve sung “How Deep the Father’s Love for Us,” I had a new thought as we sang it recently at church. We got to the line that says, “Why should I gain from his reward? / I cannot give an answer” and here’s what struck me:

There are people in this world who must have an answer for everything. If there’s not a rational explanation for something, they refuse to believe in it or think it is acceptable. Their own intellect is their highest authority.

As Christians, we subscribe to a coherent system of beliefs. Yes, we think there is evidence to support our beliefs, but at the foundational level, we have faith in things unseen.

That’s actually the case for any belief system, even a system of no beliefs. If you’re a Christian, you believe in God. If you’re an atheist, you believe there is no God. You believe either way – your belief just focuses on different objects.

Some discount Christianity because they don’t understand how a good God could allow bad things to happen. They think there is no possible answer to the questions of why children die or why cancer strikes or why terrible car accidents occur. I don’t claim to have solutions for those difficult problems except to say that bigger purposes exist that we can possibly understand. I’m 40. God is eternal. He has a better perspective than I do.

I really can’t give an answer for why God would sacrifice his only Son to save me, his sworn enemy. It makes no sense. It’s not conceivable by any human framework. But that’s the thing – it’s not my framework. It’s God’s, and it’s infinitely better than anything I could conceive.

I am fascinated by how things work. I just finished reading about how the Wright Brothers discovered the secret of flight, and now I’m reading about the founding of Twitter. I love knowing the process Wilbur and Orville went through to build their planes. I’m riveted by the personalities of the guys who started Twitter and how they were their own worst enemies despite their fantastic invention. I want to explain to my kids how everything around them works.

But despite that interest, I am also okay knowing there are things I don’t know. On days when the world seems to turn upside down, we hurt and we cry, but in the end, we trust a God who laid the foundations of that world. I’m glad he’s deeper and more mysterious than I can ever figure out. Otherwise, what’s the point of believing in him?

Without that, we should all quit right now. But if there’s something bigger and better that we can be part of? Well, that’s a reason to get up every day.

I cannot give an answer why God sent his Son on a rescue mission, other than his deep love for us and his own good pleasure. I can’t explain it, but I can rejoice in it. Join me.

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