The Bible is a tricky book to understand sometimes. Within it are a few different instances where our great book contradicts itself. What? Noooo. Yes. So what do we believe? If you think that the Bible is the inspired word of God scribed by human hand, like I do, you may also be wondering how we pinpoint which parts are the most correct since different perspectives are presented? Well, maybe we don’t have to. Maybe we don’t have to have all of the answers all of the time like our American society craves these days.
When we talk about faith, we often refer to believing in a God that none of us see – although many argue that we are able to see our God through actions when His work is revealed to us through other people’s lives. I, too, believe that this has a lot of value to it. I believe that regardless of sight, God is always with us and we are never alone, but some topics aren’t as simple to comprehend. If we look at the creation story, there are certainly elements left to be pondered over. What in the world are we supposed to think about the beautiful stars in the sky or the great ocean blue? How long was a day in God’s time? Why do bad things happen to good people? Why is the Bible not as clear as we would like it to be on some of our recent controversial matters? I want the answers, and I want them now!
The fun thing about faith though, is well…it’s faith – it’s not always driven by answers. Maybe we are just supposed to live our lives with the reassurance that all of our needs will be taken care of and that we don’t have to worry because God promises to deliver. In that case, does it really matter if we know how the sun came to be or where the giant masses of the ocean came from? I think not. Sometimes we think that controversial matters are more important than they are when really, if we choose to err on the side of love, I don’t think things can go so astronomically wrong. Shocker to some of us, but we are not in control.
Can you just think of the world that could be if we chose to love each other and not try to put down each others’ (sometimes) small differences in religious beliefs within our own Christian community? Whether or not you believe that the feeding of the five thousand was allegorical or that a few loaves of bread and a couple of fish really did feed all of those people, that’s completely up to you. What does matter in this scenario is that you get the point of the story. Do you honestly think that two Christians or even non-Christians arguing over the validity of this story is going to prove anything? Absolutely not. It doesn’t change the message being portrayed and we have no way to prove it either way. We do need to gather from this story, allegorically or literally, is that God will provide for us when we need it. We don’t always need to know how, but we can believe that He will. If we realize that we don’t need all of the answers, we will be much more open to seeing God’s work in front of us and realizing the true magnitude of His power. It isn’t always about validating God’s work, but instead recognizing that the work is there and is in full-force. We don’t always need the answers because we don’t need to prove anything – God does that for us every single day.
Although we may not know much about the ocean or the stars or all of the absolute details of every story we’ve been taught, we do know that God loves us and this unconditional love is enough to get us through each day in this lost and broken world. Let’s focus less on the details of His power, but on the fact that His power with our faith will prevail over all else. Faith doesn’t always guarantee answers, but it does guarantee that God’s promise will be carried through.