Tuesday, May 16, 2017

trusting Him when it makes no sense

Today we hear from St Augustine, writing in City of God, in today's selection from A Year with the Church Fathers.

If you've never read City of God, I highly recommend it. It's amazing to pick it up and realize that it was written about 1500 years ago, but it reads just like someone wrote it today. Very clear and lucid, quoting Scripture just like we do today, making points about the church... it's an amazing read.

St Augustine tells us that we need to see the big picture before we start accusing God of a bad creation. For instance, why do we have mosquitoes? It has been remarked that you could very easily create mosquito heaven and human hell in the same place. They seem to only spread disease and cause annoyance wherever they go. And if you're expecting this paragraph to end in the reason for mosquitoes, you'll be disappointed. I have no idea!

But. Even though that seems to make no sense... and even though starving people around the world makes no sense, and the suffering of innocent animals makes no sense... we don't see the big picture. And, in fact, we will not ever be able to see the big picture in this lifetime. The big picture is too big for our human eyes to see, and our human brains to comprehend.

However, we know God. We see, all through the Bible, and all through our lives, repeated and consistent evidence that He is good, and kind, and loving. He doesn't cause needless suffering. He doesn't make things for no reason. He can, above all, be trusted.

So when we look around, let's give Him the benefit of the doubt. Let's assume He knows what He's doing, and find the beauty and meaning and interwoven stories that permeate our existence, because we know that God is beauty and meaning in Himself, and that His story is one that we can put our faith in.

God, help us to trust You when things just make no sense to our little minds. Like mosquitoes.