ODJ: God won’t fit

January 24, 2016 

READ: Isaiah 55:8-9 

Just as the heavens are higher than the earth, so my ways are higher than your ways (v.9).

Years ago, when our youngest son was 5, Seth asked during breakfast, “What day is it? Am I going to school today?” “Yes, it’s Tuesday,” my wife answered. An excited smile broke across Seth’s face. “Tuesday?! Today is sharing day!” I asked Seth what he was supposed to share. “Something that begins with the letter D,” he said. I grinned. “Well . . . you could bring . . . Daddy.” “No,” Seth replied matter-offactly, “you wouldn’t fit in my cubby.”

In Seth’s 5-year-old mind, everything had to fit. Everything had its proper place—and this is a general truth. Whenever we attempt to affix this wisdom to God, however, we make a fundamental mistake. God isn’t like us. He isn’t limited by our universe, by our vision, by our narrow understanding, by our human restrictions. “My thoughts are nothing like your thoughts,” He says. “And my ways are far beyond anything you could imagine” (Isaiah 55:8).

Our linear sense of time doesn’t limit or bind God. God doesn’t confine Himself within our airtight rational categories. He isn’t an answer that can be calculated by our mathematical formulas. While we can know God, we can’t fully understand Him. St. Augustine often insisted that if we think we truly understand God, then we can rest assured that what we understand is in fact not God.

He is the Creator, the One who breathed life into the world and who sustains all creation (Genesis 1:1; Colossians 1:17). In Jesus and through the Holy Spirit, God is very much present in the world—but He’s by no means contained or restrained by it. That is why we place our hope in God, not in ourselves. God can do what we are entirely unable to do, things beyond anything we can imagine.

—Winn Collier

365-day-plan: Genesis 41:1-36

Read Colossians 1:17. How does Paul describe God here? How does this description resist our attempts to confine Him? 
How does this God who is above and beyond us challenge or concern you? How does He comfort you?