“I am the Lord, and there is no other, the One forming light and creating darkness, causing well-being and creating calamity; I am the Lord who does all these” (Isaiah 45:6-7).
This is one of my favorite statements about God. He claims the good, the bad, the light, the dark, and He does it all. There is no other. I am awestruck, and I am baffled. After all, how do bad things come from the hand of a good God? How does the Light of the World create darkness? How does the God who is love itself cause calamity?
I have no idea.
I don’t have to.
God will be a contradiction in terms no matter what you make of Him (Isaiah 55:9, Ephesians 3:19). But the greatest contradiction is not the dichotomy of God’s sovereignty versus our free will or the question of how a loving God can let bad things happen to good people, but how He can let good things happen to bad people; namely, how He can let His Son happen to me.
Grace is the greatest disparity in the character of God, where the immovable object of His justice meets the unstoppable force that is His love—this is what I don’t understand.
But I do believe. And if I believe this, because I have to believe this, then I can believe every other irrational truth about an infinite God, whether I understand it or not. The one thing I do know, that I must know, is forever settled in heaven, and if this is the standard of God’s love, then I am satisfied. My questions answered, my needs met, my hope secure. Everything else is gravy.
Excerpt from “Peace and How to Keep It.” Coming fall 2020.