The Incomprehensibility of God

I am pleased to introduce you to a Guest Writer today, my beloved Husband and editor of The Ruminant Scribe, Bill Mowles. He wrote this submission several years ago, but I only became aware of it recently and I wanted to share his comments with you.

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The Webster’s definition of “incomprehensible” is “impossible to comprehend”.  Not hard to understand, not difficult to put into words, but impossible to comprehend.

During a Sunday School Class on the development of the Church, the leader used the word “incomprehensibility” in the context of our inability to fully understand God.   Indeed, when cataloging 15 attributes of God, one author stated: 

What are God’s attributes? When we talk about the attributes of God, we are trying to answer questions like, Who is God, What is God like, and What kind of God is he? An attribute of God is something true about him. While fully comprehending God is impossible for us as limited beings, God does make himself known in a variety of ways, and through what he reveals about himself in his Word and in his creation, we can begin to wrap our minds around our awesome Creator and God.

As I thought about the incomprehensibility of God following this class, I resisted the use of our relationship with our dog Cuddles as an example of this concept.  But I kept returning to how similar our understanding of God and Cuddle’s understanding of us seems to be. 

What we do must seem incomprehensible to her.  We make her food and water appear, and while she “knows” when we go to a particular cabinet that a meal is forthcoming, she cannot grasp why, or what we have to do to make sure that there is food there to give her. She “knows” that when we put her harness on her that she is going for a walk or for a ride, but she has no control over what will happen to her, nor can she tell if she is going to visit a dog park (a good thing) or the vet (not quite so good).   She seems to understand somehow that we are the source of all of this. 

Cuddles trying to understand what Daddy was doing when fixing the faucet in the kitchen sink.

I’m amused at her expression sometimes when we are doing something not related to her care; she cocks her head to one side and seems completely puzzled.  “Why”, I imagine she is thinking, “do they spend so much time staring into those funny lights on their laps (computer and cell phones), where I should be?  Or that big funny light on the wall (television)?“  We provide her every need, because we care for her and want her to be well.  But we don’t grant her every wish, nor do we give her a snack whenever she wants one.

Likewise, God is our loving Father, and from the beginning made available to us our every need.  He has created a world made perfect for our needs.  He has given us His Word, to feed on, to guide us, to make us understand what He wants for us.  He doesn’t explain everything and He doesn’t give us everything we might want, but He provides our every need.

Cuddles seemingly asking Daddy “Hey, can I drive?” while we were on an RV trip and she was studying his movements at the wheel.

I feed the Squirrels. I started doing this to keep them out of the bird feeders, but have continued because the little rascals can be pretty entertaining, One day, when I was putting the peanuts in the little hinged box and the ears of corn on the holders, I became aware of Cuddles barking at me, She might have been saying, “why are you taking care of them? They don’t belong to our family! They don’t love you like I do!”  She doesn’t understand that I care about them too.

This made me think about some of my responses to situations: Why am I surprised that God makes the “rain fall on both the just and the unjust (Matthew 5:45)?  Why does God let “bad things” happen to good people? (the unbeliever’s favorite argument!)  Why does He call people home to Himself when we aren’t ready to see them go? 

These questions have the same answer: because there are things about Him that He is not ready for us to understand.  God is incomprehensible to us now, but we will understand them when He calls us home.  His ways are not our ways and His thoughts are not our thoughts. (Isaiah 55:8). 

What God wants from us, here and now, is that we trust Him and to know that He is providing. He wants us to love Him and glorify Him as best as we can.  He wants us to embrace the gifts He has given us, curl up in the lap of His Son, and be a part of His Body.

And I don’t need to understand much more than that!

Father God, I praise Your name for all that You are, and I pray for the wisdom and peace to accept Your will, which is beyond my comprehension. In all things, gain or loss, joy or sorrow, may Your will be done.

2 thoughts on “The Incomprehensibility of God

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