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Seeds of the Kingdom

Our Limited Understanding

by Denise Cross

‘For My thoughts are not your thoughts, nor are your ways My ways’, says the Lord. ‘For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways higher than your ways, and My thoughts than your thoughts.’
Isaiah 55:8-9, NKJV

I expect you will recognise this scripture and you may even know it by heart. It is one of a limited number of verses I know well, and I must admit I find comfort in it, especially when things don’t work out the way I expected or anticipated. Comforting though the verse is, I still find myself trying to imagine and ‘get my head around’ what God’s thinking might really be like. What are these thoughts that are so much higher and how are they so different from mine?

This morning I was listening to a radio programme in which an eminent physicist was speaking about ‘string theory’. He is, we were told, at the forefront of the latest understanding of how the cosmos works. I was intending to do other things, but I couldn’t help listening as he explained about ‘strings’ and the so-called ‘theory of everything’. He explained that one of the consequences of this theory is that the cosmos must contain more dimensions. It is not just the three physical dimensions that we know we live in, and not just the addition of the fourth dimension, time; no, this theory suggests that there are ten or even eleven dimensions. He went on to explain the problem is that we are incapable of recognising the other dimensions.

As I listened, this verse from Isaiah 55 came into my mind. The physicists and mathematicians are trying to grasp what seems beyond human understanding, even for the best minds of our time. However, the theorists have a problem – it is only a theory. They cannot prove their theory through any form of experimentation known at present, because the ‘strings’ they speak of are infinitesimally small. These brilliant minds have formulated a mathematical model, but it is just a theory, so they believe in it by faith, faith in abstract mathematics. Perhaps we could add that God alone knows what those other dimensions are!

The clear truth is, that our Creator God’s ways and thoughts are infinitely superior, and completely different to anything we can think. Who can fathom how God designed all that He has made? Mankind can try to grasp understanding, and no doubt will go on trying to comprehend the cosmos, but God is clear, His ways and thoughts are far beyond our reach. We may get some limited understanding (and I don’t think God minds us trying to get more knowledge of His wonderful creation) but the ways of the Lord will never be fully unravelled by rational human minds.

I once read that for a human being to try to understand God’s ways would be analogous to a caterpillar trying to understand rocket science. I guess that puts it into perspective!

Prayer: Almighty and Magnificent God, Creator of all things, seen and unseen, thank You for giving us enquiring minds and a desire to understand what we can of Your great creation, in which we live. We praise You for what we can grasp; the beauty and intricate patterns in nature, the immensity and strangeness of outer space, but also for what we cannot comprehend, the great unknowns of all creation. Thank You that we can trust You and Your ways, even though they are often far beyond our human understanding and do not fit easily with our human powers of reasoning. We surrender again today to You and Your ways, in faith trusting in who You are, our loving Father who knows and understands all things. We pray this in Jesus’ name. Amen

Denise Cross is married to David Cross and they have three grown up children and eight grandchildren. Denise was previously a Maths teacher and now delights to teach the Lord’s wonderfully logical truth. Her passion is to stir the hearts of passive believers to appropriate all the benefits of abundant life that our Heavenly Father freely offers to each of His children. Her book Rescue from Rejection has been appreciated by many people, in bringing clear answers to this challenging and widespread issue.


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