Incomprehensible Faith

It is often the incomprehensible pieces about God and His Word that bring us back to the rudiments of our faith. 

“Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.” Hebrews 11:1 KJV

Little hands hover over a box sitting on the floor. His favorite cartoon characters cover it in bright paper and red ribbon. He looks up for the ok, itching to rip into it. Not a single doubt enters his mind. It’s gonna be good. Whatever’s inside. Something yet unknown will make this birthday even better. It is often the incomprehensible pieces about God and His Word that bring us back to the rudiments of our faith. Share on X

I’m wrapped in short sightedness today. 

My present situation feels too big and too elongated. As if this blink of life is all I have, my emotions push away from Whose I am to how I am. 

Inserted in the disquiet, a collision of sorts has rattled my soul. My Bible reading has meshed together Genesis, God’s heavenly visions in Daniel, with the supernatural futuristic book of Revelation. It’s kind of a perfect devotional storm. 

Scripture has challenged me with past civilizations, people with real lives, and layers and layers of time. Four hundred years is a very long time. After God’s covenant with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob passed four hundred years.  

Between Old and New Testaments, another four hundred year silence drops. Such long silences.  

Yet, God sent His messengers to His people in His timing. And who am I in all this length of history? Why me and what for? 

The incomprehensible actions of God are far beyond my feeble understanding or explanation. But they are real.

Years ago I stood on a Roman ridge with my father-in-law. We gazed on the ruins of the Forum below us. Its ancient government buildings once bustled with the center of the world’s business. A decree handed to a courier once left one of its buildings. The writing on its parchment set history in motion, moving a young virgin great with child and her husband to a little town of Bethlehem.

My husband and I were still in language school when my in-laws visited us in Italy. We were trying to decipher words and sentences, seeking to separate sounds into meaning. Their timely visit, not only brought comfort, but also  showed us how much we had actually absorbed in our ability to communicate and understand culture. 

We felt almost fluent as we described the country and translated its words. 

My husband’s father, who had spent much of his life on foreign soil, surrounded by yet another language and a different culture, gripped the railing and stared at the dizzying rubble below.

“I can’t quite wrap my mind around all the people, centuries of them, and God knowing each one,” he finally said. 

I turned and looked at the scene through his eyes. Massive arches, overturned columns, hewn stone, and cracked dry soil. 

Layers of humanity, generations, of sorrow and pain. 

Years and years of birth, death, joy, laughter and tears. 

Lives with hopes, desires, and dreams, depart this earth and another cycle begins.   

And God knows each one. 

Centuries and centuries boggle me. My own tiny “human dilemma” already seems a big enough struggle.   

In this small slit of my time and wondering, Abraham’s questioning of the heavenly beings who visited him echoes in my brain. 

Shall not the Judge of all the earth do what is just?” Genesis 18:25,32 ESV “suppose ten are found there? Will you destroy them too?” 

In God’s incomprehensible panorama of dealings with us, I come back to this fact. God is righteous. There is no evil in Him. 

This life He has given, this breath, if not completely His, of what worth or value could the pain and grief possibly be? God is righteous. There is no evil in Him. Share on X

Without a strong hold onto the absolute knowledge of what we cannot yet see and know, we lose ground. Our grip lessens. We forget. We grow weary. 

It is the incomprehensible wonder of what we cannot see, of what has not yet been made known or even imagined, which connects us in the deep sinews of our belonging to Jesus. 

Faith is marked by trust in His redemption past, present, and future even when it cannot be understood. 

“These all died in faith, not having received the things promised, but having seen them and greeted them from afar, and having acknowledged that they were strangers and exiles on the earth.” Hebrews 11:13 ESV

This “by faith” holds sure what cannot yet be defined. It stands against all odds.

So I sit on what I know. God is good. There is no unrighteousness in Him. I hold tightly onto God’s Word in my short time and space. 

It is often the incomprehensible pieces about God and His Word that bring us back to the rudiments of our faith.

An explosion of bow and paper fly through the air. My grandson rips into his birthday gift. The box opens. His excited voice shouts. Hope becomes reality.   

14 Replies

  1. Tony Vanderlaan Reply

    Thank youSylvia for the wonderful way that you put words into thoughts and then on to paper. Generations come and go but our God is and was and will be . What a great God we serve.

    • sylvia schroeder Reply

      Thanks Tony. We just made a recent trip to Italy, and were again reminded of His Sovereignty over all the ages.

  2. Nancy E. Head Reply

    May we recognize the sweetness of every gift God gives us. Even those whose sweetness we don’t overtly understand or see completely realized. Thanks, Sylvia. God bless!

    • sylvia schroeder Reply

      Thank you Nancy. You are so right. God’s gifts, even when we might think “Now I understand,” are so much greater and much sweeter than we can perceive.

  3. J.D. Wininger Reply

    I so enjoy Hebrews 11:1 my friend; one of my favorites. I think you’ve hit on a topic that could take years to try and explain and address as fully as you could, but suffice to say, many choose instead to avoid rather than embrace. What I mean by that is, it’s easier to avoid what we can’t know than it is to wrestle with simply accepting it as fact and enjoying what we can know. What those friends miss is that in searching for understanding of the unknowns, God often reveals more about Himself than many will ever learn. Perhaps on that day, we’ll understand His infinite knowledge and power. Until that time, we can simply accept in faith what we can’t know yet. God’s blessings ma’am.

    • Sylvia Schroeder Reply

      Wise words, J.D. Wrestling with what we can’t explain is something we do want to avoid. I am one of those! But I am so grateful I cannot understand it all, because it demonstrates a God much greater than my feeble attempts to comprehend. “Perhaps,” you wrote, “on that day, we’ll understand His infinite knowledge and power.” What a glorious day when we faith will be made sight! Thanks J.D.!

  4. Cleo Waters Reply

    It is not possible for me to get my thoughts to these things…. it all seems so very deep. Thank you for your great words.

    • Sylvia Schroeder Reply

      Cleo. I think the fact that we can’t really understand is a blessing because it shows how much greater God is than we can even imagine. Thanks so much for responding. I always value your comments so very much.

  5. Katherine Pasour Reply

    Yes! God is good, but the knowledge of that doesn’t always keep us from asking, “Why?” It’s our faith that enables us to keep on going, even when we don’t understand. And when our faith falters and we cry out to Him–He is there.

    • Sylvia Schroeder Reply

      Yes. And yes again. The why’s push us toward the Who. I am so very glad He is there for every cry.

  6. Sue Reply

    Thank you, Sylvia!

    • Sylvia Schroeder Reply

      Thank you Sue. Always appreciate that you take the time to read and comment!

  7. Marilyn Krehbiel Reply

    Ps.130:6 “Such knowledge is too wonderful for me; it is high, I cannot attain unto it.” Thanks for ur sharing what the LORD is doing in your life!!! U r such a blessing!!