Paradox, Part 1

Do you know what a paradox is? Webster says a paradox is a seeming contradiction. For example, you are a paradox. In fact, we all are.

We love and we hate. We laugh when others are crying. We smile when we are wounded. We love God with all of our heart, but don’t give Him the time of day.

We live according to the Spirit, but walk after the flesh. We are new people in Christ who consider ourselves something akin to the bird droppings on the sidewalk.

We have the world by the tail, but feel as though it is kicking ours. We are down when we have every reason to be up, despondent after encouraging someone else, and are determined to make it on our own while blessed with the presence of God within us.

We preach grace, but live according to legalism or license. We are children of the King, but we live as spiritual paupers.

And guess what? God is a paradox as well. Theologians wrestle with His seeming contradictions all the time. In fact, these apparent incongruities account for many of our denominational differences.

God chooses us, but insists upon preserving our ability to reject or choose Him. He loves and He hates. He holds us in His hand while living in us. He is absolutely just, yet lavishly merciful. He is absolutely holy, yet He took our sin on Himself. He dwells in unapproachable light, but makes His home in dark places. He is passionate to the point of anger, but is joy personified. He never changes, yet He cannot be predicted.

Is it possible to explain these paradoxes of God? To some extent, yes, just as you can be explained to some extent. But that is not the point.

Part of the intrigue of a relationship is acknowledging the inexplicable. Part of the reason I love my wife is because she is a mystery. Part of the reason I love God is because He is new every morning while remaining the same yesterday, today, and forever.

The goal of marriage is not to figure out my wife, and the goal of my relationship with God is not to figure Him out. I married my wife in order to know her, to enjoy her, and to contribute something of myself to her. She married me for essentially the same reasons. Together, we embarked upon a lifelong excursion into each other’s soul and heart the day we said, “I do.” Together, we benefit from understanding each other. Together, we go where no one else has gone before.

Father God knew what He was doing when He said our relationship with Him is like marriage. Next, in our relationship with Him, God proposes we go where no one else has gone before.