Written By Ryan Walters
“Truly, O God of Israel, our Savior, You work in mysterious ways.”
What is one of the first facts you learn while discovering the majestic iceberg in science class? Most often, it is that only 10-20% of the iceberg is above the surface.
The other 80-90% lies beneath the water where we can’t actually witness the speechless sight of a massive structure of ice. You didn’t have to be a science geek to appreciate or be fascinated by that statistic.
Likewise, as Christ-followers we should be in awestruck wonder of how our God works mostly and magnificently ‘behind the scenes’, so to speak. The Bible makes the point in Job 11 that man cannot simply discover the mysteries and complexities of God. As the creation and not the Creator, we have to learn to be content with the fact that under any circumstance we cannot grasp the omniscience of our Lord. Christians cannot fathom just how “large and in charge” the Father in heaven is.
Attempting to visualize or conceptualize the capabilities of God’s handiwork is frankly ridiculous while using our feeble minds. But to me, it’s also what makes being a Christ-follower all the more fascinating. I mean, it’s intriguing for a 7-year old to watch his dad perform an oil and filter change on his ’98 Camry or build a tree fort in the backyard with a ladder, some Home Depot-supplied wood, quite a number of nails, a hammer and a saw. In a way, we’re that little boy- lacking the knowledge or understanding of how the fort was created in the first place yet fearless to climb into it immediately once it’s finished.
That boy takes a leap of faith in his momentous and angst-ridden climb in a conscious way because he is so overwhelmed with excitement and anticipation to experience his very own fortress high up in the deep-rooted, unshakable trees. But he also takes this leap in an unconscious way because he trusts the one who put it together. He is unconsciously certain that the tree fort is 100% reliable; the creator, the one whom He trusts, has the little boy’s assurance of safety. The young boy isn’t hesitant to the least bit of entering his new palace. His mind is nowhere remotely close to questioning his dad about whether or not the fort will crumble to its foundation in the depths of the ground consisting of unshakable roots.
You’re probably struggling while reading this with keeping your imagery on either a fort or an iceberg- two awfully different depictions of my topic. For that I apologize. But hang in there because all the puzzle pieces fit together in the end.
Matthew 18:2-4 says, “And Jesus called a little child unto him, and set him in the midst of them, and said, Verily I say unto you, Except ye be converted, and become as little children, ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven. Whosoever therefore shall humble himself as this little child, the same is greatest in the kingdom of heaven.”
That passage of scripture is the exact reason I utilize the image of a little boy placing his utmost faith and confidence in his father. That passage displays why we are to have “childlike faith”. Just like that boy, we’re called as Christians to not question where our Father is or what He’s up to when we feel abandoned or as if the whole world is falling down upon us. Matthew 6 & Philippians 4 combine to draw a picture for us of ‘praying about everything, worrying about nothing’.
As a bold and unashamed generation we’re called to be, should we not realize and take hold of the truth that God is our unshakable, unchangeable (Heb. 13:8 “Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and today, and forever”) foundation like the deep roots of that tree? Why quiver at the knees when we can be rest assured that God loves us to an extent that we can’t even fathom?
Here is the reason Christians walk by faith and not by sight: because we believe that God is constantly on the move working behind the curtain. We wait patiently as the audience in the auditorium only to never set our naked eyes on the actual doing of the producer operating behind the scenes. Sometimes we only witness the act, the play or the skit but never actually observe how it came about or fully understand the details that came along with the production.
God has no obligation to explain Himself or His performance. He is the Alpha. As His creation, we bow before Him; not the other way around. Christians shouldn’t fool themselves into thinking they ‘deserve’ a reason or explanation of scenarios occurring in their lives. Instead, let everyday be ‘Iceberg Appreciation Day’: a day of thanks that we can place our hope in a Creator who works out all things for our good and does so without us being eyewitness spectators. Be thankful for He does this to build our faith. He works the way He does to purposefully draw us closer to Him; realizing more and more as we grow in our relationship that we are but a mist that will vanish away but God is forever (James 4:14).
We cannot pretend to know what God is up to but we can boldly proclaim we’re firm believers in the iceberg model. More often in encountering tragedies, Christians should step back and remind themselves of the cliché, church quote “God is good. All the time. All the time. God is good.” That quote applies to our faith whether we can see the work of God first hand or not.
Ryan Walters. ’98.6 Too Cold’ Founder, Blogger