Romans 11:34-35 “Who has known the mind of the Lord? Or who has been his counselor? Who has ever given to God that God should repay him?”
We know very little compared to the Lord who assembled this whole universe out of nothing and devised a way to redeem his fallen creatures from their rebellion against him. Let’s talk about ways we have been blessed by this difference.
Maybe you are the kind of person who had a severe crush on someone when you were in school, only to have that person turn around and crush your heart later on. “Why do I have to go on living?” you think to yourself. “How can I ever be happy without him, or without her?” “Why did God let this happen to me?” Years later you meet the real love of your life, the mother or father of your children. You realize that the happiness of that relationship would not be possible if you had gotten what you thought you wanted.
We don’t know what the Lord has planned for our future, how everything fits together in the end, so we aren’t qualified to question his ways or give him advice. Those issues are above our pay grade as his creatures. He is above our interrogation.
Let’s raise the stakes. A three-year-old girl cuts her finger, and the cut is so bad that she needs stitches. Instead of an emergency room, her parents take her to one of these “doc-in-a-box” places, an “urgent care” center, one of those emergency rooms without a hospital attached. It so happens that they have run out of Novocain on this day. So as the doctor begins to stitch, the little girl begins to sing “Jesus loves me this I know.” The tears roll down her cheeks, but she bravely holds still while the doctor finishes up his work. The attending nurse is so impressed by the little girl’s faith and courage that she just has to visit the church and find out about the Jesus the little girl was singing about. This actually happened according to an article in Forward In Christ magazine several years ago.
Now if you were running the universe, would you have been able to figure that out–how a severe cut and a shortage of Novocain could make it possible for a little girl to introduce her nurse to Jesus? The Lord has millions and billions of these interactions worked out across millennia of history. And I think that I am going to give him my wise counsel? Who do I think I am? Time after time the Lord proves that he is above questioning by someone like me.
Nor does he owe us any explanations. “Who has ever given to God, that God should repay him?” These words seem to be a reference to words the Lord spoke to Job near the end of his story. Yes, God had made Job’s life miserable for a while. He let the devil take away just about everything–his wealth, his health, his family. But once Job started to suggest that maybe he would like his day in court with God, maybe he would like to put God up on the witness stand and cross examine him about the way he treated Job, the Lord shuts that kind of suggestion right down.
The Lord wasn’t in any debt to Job. He isn’t in debt to us either. He owes us nothing. We owe him everything–our existence, our salvation, our eternity. It has all been his gift. Trust him. Let him do his work. But don’t think we are in any place to question his decisions.