Zach and I sat in the game room at BaYouCa, paying close attention as the woodsman sitting across from us explained what we would be teaching our campers. Zach and I, out of all of the counselors, had been asked to lead the nature workshop that would be a part of a series of workshops in a few weeks of camp. We eagerly followed along in the curriculum, thinking of robins, tracks in the mud, poison ivy, and seeing bats and squirrels in the nighttime forest of the campgrounds.
“Now,” the woodsman told us. We looked up. “The main thing to remember here is that you’re letting the campers draw their own conclusions. It’s great if they know the names of things and stuff, but if they can’t really discover it and draw their own conclusions based on what they see, then they’re not learning anything.
“For example.” He balanced his packet, identical to ours, on his knee. He held up a leaf (well, it was invisible, but we knew it was a leaf by the way he was holding the small stem that wasn’t there). “If you’re showing them a leaf, you would normally say ‘Look at the patterns of the veins of the leaf…this means a certain something.’ Instead, just show them what it is, and let them draw their own conclusions, make their own observations.”
Why am I experiencing this flashback to the past?
One of the lessons I’ve learned this past semester, is that as much as I might analyze, study, and pick at the Bible, I just can’t completely explain God. I can’t always explain His actions, or explain His word, or understand Him in His entirety. It’s impossible. Well, for Bible Study, I began the study by picking through and studying Genesis in-depth. The study was fruitful, and God still used it despite myself, but I found myself feeling like I had to explain and give a reason or understanding for everything that happened. I found myself wanting to give them something tangible to hold onto, something they could prove, but the more I studied, the more I realized that I couldn’t prove anything, not because there isn’t any evidence, but because the One who put it there is so much bigger than me and my words and my ability to study and explain.
God once again used Jacob to remind me of who He is and how He works with man, if you will. If God is truly God, if the Bible is truly His word, then I don’t need to defend it or be able to explain it. If God doesn’t feel the need to defend Himself, then why should I? My call is not to be able to prove or defend God, but to walk with Him in faith. One of the reasons why God is so worth worshiping, possibly the ultimate reason, is that I can’t fully explain Him, can’t fully understand or comprehend Him. There’s a reason it’s called faith.
I know that might sound ignorant, but it’s true. When God says that His ways are higher than mine, that His thoughts are higher than mine, then they are, and there’s no way I can explain Him away. I’m still learning about Him, still reaching into the infinite depths of His character, still exploring His word, still getting to know this God who’s saved me from myself, who died for the salvation of my soul, who gave Himself for me to have a relationship with Him.
The statement that really tripped me up this year at school was “I don’t trust the Bible because it’s been translated so many times and taken too many times through the hands of too many men.” But then God pulled on my faith, and brought the focus off of man, and back to Him. If God is God, if He’s as powerful and able and loving and strong as He is, then wouldn’t He be bigger than human flaw? After all, Christ was. Christ was bigger than sin and greater than death, more powerful than the grave and stronger than the law. If His word is what His kingdom would hinge on, if the salvation of souls and the reconciliation of the world depended upon His word, then wouldn’t He make sure it communicated exactly what He wanted it to? If God is really God, then the answer is most certainly and thoroughly a resounding yes.
Today was the last day of Bible Study with my classmates. We read the book of Ruth, and as I talked to God about it, as I prayed to Him, I was reminded of all of this, that I don’t have to defend this word. If it’s the truth, then it’s the truth, whether people believe it or not. I am called only to walk in it with Him 🙂 I present this Word to my classmates, and they take it or leave it. No argument will save them. No amount of eloquence or convincing or persuasive words will change their minds. God is much more able to speak for Himself than I’ll ever be able to put into words. But He chooses to use me 🙂 to communicate His word and present it to the world and say “Here is the truth. Will you accept it?”
Should I dig around in God’s word? Yes. Should I study it and know it? Definitely. Should I ask questions? Yes. But it is and always will be acceptance by faith. Even when I first got saved, when God first dragged me out of the pit I’d dug for myself, I went forward under the faithful assumption that the Bible was completely true and that it’s God’s word. There’s no doubt about it. But that doesn’t bother me, not at all. It makes me kind of relieved actually 🙂 It means that this God of mine is outside of anything I can understand, that He’s greater than what I see now, that He’s not boxed in by human understanding, that He’s not limited or restricted by the words, thoughts, and actions of man, and that He is, and always will be, and always has been, yes, God.
“For we walk by faith, not by sight.” —2 Corinthians 5:7