Posts Tagged ‘paradox’

Life’s grandest paradox

January 3, 2018

Romans 11--33

Instead of the usual Verse of the Day, we begin with “The Word for the Day for January 3, 2018: Paradox:

Often used in literature and in life, the term is defined as “a seemingly absurd or self-contradictory statement or proposition that when investigated or explained may prove to be well founded or true.”  Paradoxes are often contrary to what we believe and thus can widen our understanding, as we think more deeply regarding the subject discussed.

Here is paradoxical statement, “Sometimes less is more” or think about this:  “It is only in losing that we really win.” How about “You can save money by spending money.”

The Bible is full of examples of paradox. Consider these words:

You save your life by losing it: “Whosoever shall seek to save his life shall lose it; and whosoever shall lose his life shall preserve it” (Luke 17:33).  To be wise, we must become fools. “If any man among you seems to be wise in this world, let him become a fool, that he may be wise” (I Corinthians 3:18). To be first, we must be last. “So the last shall be first, and the first last” (Matthew 20:16).

The term paradox brings also brings to mind God, our all-wise, all knowing Father, whose ways are past finding out.  Romans 11:33 sets forth the incomprehensible greatness of God Almighty:

33 Oh, the depth of the riches and wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are His judgments and decisions and how unfathomable and untraceable are His ways!

In the Book of Job and in the Psalms we find similar sentiments expressed:

Job 5:9 (NLT):

He does great things too marvelous to understand.

He performs countless miracles.  

Job 11:7-9 (NLT)

“Can you solve the mysteries of God?

Can you discover everything about the Almighty?

Such knowledge is higher than the heavens—

And who are you?

It is deeper than the underworld*—

What do you know?

It is broader than the earth

And wider than the sea.

In describing the ways of God, one of the terms used is “unsearchable” which is also translated “indelineable, marked by being impossible to plot, travel, or trace to the end of, therefore, incomprehensible or impossible to understand.”  All in all, it clearly becomes evident that God’s ways are not our ways; indeed, beyond the most profound examples of paradoxes, His ways are past finding out.

The Word for the Day is the inspiration behind this poetic response.

Life’s Grandest Paradox

One word: the power of a single light, 

like a cloven tongue of fire

to shatter the darkest night.

Lonnell E. Johnson

 

No matter how we try, God will not be put in a box,

For we know it is His glory to conceal a matter.

Behold, He brings death to life: the ultimate paradox.

To water wastelands and to refresh the most barren place.

The full extent of God’s power no mortal can define:

The heavy burden of dark sin He unshackles with grace.

Despite the weaknesses of our frail flesh, He makes us strong,

Causing the barren womb to flourish as a fruitful vine;

He fills our mouths with laughter, releasing our joyful song.

With our blinded eyes wide opened, now we can really see:

We are an enigma you can’t figure, an anomaly.

It is what it is and not what it may appears to be.

We are life’s grandest Paradox with a capital P.

We conclude with a musical expression of who God is and what He does, as Gwen Smith offers contemporary song of worship “Unsearchable”: