I don't get God. As much as I try, there are things about him that I just can't wrap my head around. I ran into Colossians 1:22 today-
Yet now he (God) has brought you back as his friends. He has done this through his death on the cross in his own human body. As a result, he has brought you into the very presence of God, and you are holy and blameless as you stand before him without a single fault.
Granted, this is the New Living Translation, so I won't make a technical case using this version of the text, but the same idea is conveyed in more literal translations. I've been reconciled to God.
But I know my sins. I know the sins I committed yesterday and earlier this morning. Over and over I pray with sincerity that I do not want to sin like that any more. Over and over I fail.
How does God have the ability to look beyond my sin and not hold it against me? The answer, as any "Sunday Schooled" Christian can tell you, is Jesus' death and perfect payment for my sins.
But trying to nail down how that transaction works seems impossible. And understanding the nature of my forgiveness is just one of many mind-benders.
Here's another: If God is in complete control, how are my choices real? And since God knows everything that will ever happen in all eternity future, what's the difference between him "allowing" something to happen and "making" something happen?
Recently, I've asked one of the leadership team members at our church (we call them "Elders") to meet with me on a regular basis and "mentor" me. He's a very intelligent man, received formal education in his seminary master's program with an emphasis on ancient Greek and Hebrew. He's also a solid, yet transparent (how's that for mixing metaphors?) Christian.
He suggested I do some reading on "dimensionality". Well, I suck at math, and he's much better at it, so we're both going through a book together by an astronomer who has examined the dimensions that exist beyond space and time (apparantly their existence has been mathmatically proven) and uses that knowledge to try to understand more of the nature of God.
So that's the journey I'm on now. I've critically examined the claims of the Bible enough in my life that I've seen a pattern. The pattern is, the Bible is right. Again and again I keep throwing arguments and criticisms at the Bible that, at a glance, seem to tear it apart. But on further examination, the Bible always wins. It simply has the evidence in its favor. So based on that pattern, I could choose not to find answers for my remaining questions. After all, the sun keeps coming up, so why sit and suspect that it may not come up tomorrow?
But because many people use their questions to avoid the truth, I want to find answers that make at least a few of those questions impossible to use for that purpose. Add to that my personal desire to satisfy my curiosity and I've got no choice but to pursue answers until they are found.
So if you'll excuse me, I've got some reading to do...