Photo by Liane Metzler

Today I’ve been thinking about the depth, majesty, and greatness of God. I’m a pastor, so I suppose that is not all that surprising. Yet, a passage from Isaiah has been floating around in my mind and heart all day today.

Check this out from Isaiah 40:27, 28:

Why do you say, O Jacob,
 and speak, O Israel,
 “My way is hidden from the LORD,
 and my right is disregarded by my God”?
 Have you not known? Have you not heard?
 The LORD is the everlasting God,
 the Creator of the ends of the earth.
 He does not faint or grow weary;
 his understanding is unsearchable.

Isaiah is writing to the people of God in exile. At this point they are despondent and broken-hearted. They feel as though God has abandoned them. They can’t worship at the Temple and so they are experiencing a deep separation from their God. Isaiah quotes them as asking why God is ignoring them (“my way is hidden”) and hasn’t brought about the justice (“my right is disregarded) that they think they deserve. In response, he challenges them remember who their God is.

I don’t think that we can even comprehend the experience of being exiled as American Christians. Yet, we can know the feeling of God being silent or the feeling of being wronged and that our rights are violated.

The bit that has been inescapable for me is the last phrase, “his understanding is unsearchable.” This splinter in the brain has invaded my imagination.

I so often think that I have God figured out: Read my Bible. Pray. Go to church. Say this or that. If I do these things then life will be just fine and God will bless me.

That’s not how it works.

As C.S. Lewis’ Mr. Beaver said of Aslan, “Oh no, he’s not safe, he’s not a tame lion. But he’s good.” So is our God.

You see God is not safe. He’s not manageable. His understanding, Isaiah says, is “unsearchable.” This means that God has an understanding that is deeper, more full, than we could possibly even imagine. We will never be able to fully figure God out.

I am married to an amazing woman. I think I have a good understanding of who she is. Yet, as much as I know her, after being married for almost 20 years I continue to find her mysterious and intriguing.

How much more so with our infinite God?

His very nature we cannot even begin to unravel.

As we consider the times of pain, heartbreak, frustration, and all the rest, this passage reminds us that God is always at work. He “does not faint or grow weary” and his “understanding is unsearchable.”

While we will never have every answer to every question, there is one thing that we can know with absolute certainty: God is sovereign and God is good.

He is Sovereign. He is Good. was originally published in The Rev on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.