Saturday, January 27, 2007

What I've Learned about God From My Children... Part 3

I think this is part 3, it's been a while since my last one. I wrote this a while ago, but had some trouble with the formatting since I had to switch it from one computer to another. Anyway, here it is.

I first got an inkling of this thought when I worked in different day-care centers and pre-schools. Sometimes kids would ask questions that were hard to answer because the topics were too complex for a pre-schooler to understand. In those situations, I had to do my best to explain the answer in a way that would somewhat make sense to a child. It was hard to do sometimes, and once in a while I would leave a child still stumped.
A couple years ago, I was trying to explain something to Alyssa about why something worked the way it did. I can’t remember what the question was, but I do remember that when I finished explaining, I asked her if she understood, and she said “no.” I sighed and said, “Well, then you’ll just have to trust me.” That’s when it hit me. Alyssa is a child. Therefore, she is only able to comprehend things at a certain level. As she grows, her brain is able to understand more and more abstract concepts. Things she couldn’t understand 2 years ago make perfect sense to her now. And things that she hasn’t even thought of yet, she will take for granted when she’s an adult. I now understand how light bends to make a rainbow. A 5-year-old sees a rainbow as a miraculous phenomenon - a beautiful object in the sky, or even just something you can draw in a picture. If you tried to explain scientifically to a 5-year-old how a rainbow is made, it would confuse them. Alyssa is now 9, and she would probably now be able to understand the concept of light being bent and colors spreading to form a rainbow.
There are so many things in the Bible that don’t make complete sense. There are seeming contradictions that can’t be adequately explained. There are mysteries that aren’t fully revealed. We are like children in our understanding of God and the universe and all the things that exist beyond our comprehension. But just because we don’t understand something, doesn’t mean it isn’t true or doesn’t exist. There are people who say they can’t be a Christian or they can’t believe in the Bible because of these things, and I think God is saying to them (and to the rest of us), “I know it doesn’t make sense to you, but you’ll just have to trust me.”
And it's not only the Bible - sometimes it's just things in life. "God, why is this happening? Why don't you fix this problem?" Or whatever it is... "You'll just have to trust me."

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