Posted by: ritagone | September 23, 2015

The Mystery of How God Works



Reading through my devotional book for 2015 on the Psalms, I came across this incredibly provocative entry recently:

“What do you think the pharaoh of the Exodus would have said if you had told him that the Hebrew slaves, who were making bricks for him, would have a strong kingdom of their own and conquer other nations (as Psalm 111:6 says)?

What do you think Adolf Hitler would have said if you had told him that there would be a new nation called Israel and that it would become a formidable Middle Eastern power?

What do you think those fearful disciples in the upper room would have said if you had told them that they would become instruments of world change?

And what do you think Billy Graham’s mother would have said if you had told her that the little boy playing baseball in the field out back would win millions to the Kingdom of God?

God delights in doing surprising things – things that we cannot imagine. What do you think God might be starting to do through you today? Maybe a chance meeting with someone, maybe a letter you write, maybe an unexpected phone call could be the start of something beyond your wildest dreams. Just because God doesn’t show you the end result within twenty-four hours doesn’t mean that He isn’t starting to do something big. And don’t expect fireworks. More likely your contact with tomorrow’s greatness will come through something that is seemingly insignificant today. That’s the way God often works.”

I find this quote amazingly perceptive and certainly applicable to my life, and probably it is to yours also. The truth is: we don’t know what we don’t know. One of those unknowns is how God works in the world and in our lives. While I love that mystery most of the time, there are also situations where I wish desperately to understand – to “get it” – when it comes to what He is doing and why.

Don’t we all struggle with this?

Yet in my heart of hearts I understand (sometimes only a bit) that there are “things beyond my ken,” as the song lyric goes, events and situations which I couldn’t possibly see or predict or grasp.

He is God, and as God, He is so far beyond my mental capabilities that I need to stop worrying and fretting when I can’t completely figure Him out. Heck, I can’t even figure out humans; what makes me think the God of the universe is going to ever be simple or easy to get my head around?

So this is all as it should be. Why would I want a relationship with a God who is so easily understood and predictable that I might as well be dealing with my dogs?

I know my dogs so well: I know that if Watson is working on a rawhide chew, when she needs to do her business in the backyard and I call her to do so, she must find that chewie and bring it with her. I don’t know or understand why, but I do know that that’s the way she rolls. I know that Sherlock will give a playful nip at your hands – or anyone’s hands – when they come in the front door, because that’s his sign of affection. I warn people that he’s going to do this when they arrive, and sure enough, he does it. Predictable.

What I do know about Him is partially contained in the quote above from my devotional book: “God delights in doing surprising things – things that we cannot imagine.” I can’t predict those things that He will do, but I do know what surprising and wonderful things He has already done in my life, and I am thankful.

And looking forward to more God surprises for the rest of my life.



  1. The “trick” is to be calm and aware of the miracles and answers to prayer we get all the time. Great post, Rita, and wonderful reminder.

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