As the world-wide pandemic continues to spin out of human control, Pastor Bob assures us that God sees and understands all of it from a perspective that has always known the beginning and the end.
Imagine a fictional world called “Flatland” where everything is only length and width – there is no such thing as up. This world could be modeled using two-dimensional patterns to represent buildings and metal objects to represent inhabitants. We could then add people like Fred and Wilma, who live in one house, and their neighbours Barney and Betty, who live next door (sound familiar?). Also existing in this world is another important character called God-Bob, who is three-dimensional. Because he can perceive height, his perspective is not limited to the flat plane that the others live on. He can see inside and outside the house and all of the inhabitants of Flatland at once. Now if God-Bob decided to have a little fun and actually speak to Fred in Flatland, Fred would spin around uncomprehendingly, perhaps hearing a voice, but not understanding where it’s coming from. He can’t even point because he has no concept of up where God-Bob resides. Suppose that one day God-Bob sneezes and blows Fred clear out of Flatland up into God-Bob land. As Fred is floating around the land of three dimensions, he can see the inside and outside of his house at the same time as well as his friends. He might even be able to talk to his friends although they can’t see him. However, every once in a while as he spins around, he can perceive God-Bob who has brought him into that world.
When gravity pulls on Fred and he is dropped back into the middle of whatever is going on in Flatland, Wilma and Betty and Barney would ask where he has been, but Fred would not be able to convey his experience because there are no words in Flatland that mean up. Sometimes God-Bob wants to interject himself into Flatland, but the inhabitants cannot perceive him. He would have to re-create himself as two-dimensional in order to join in the life of Flatland.
Of course, this scenario is not unlike what God did when he sent Jesus. In 2 Corinthians, Paul talks about being caught up in the 3rd heaven, seeing things there that he could not begin to explain. Similarly, John in his Revelation attempts to describe something that is indescribable but yet is the complete reality. God can see, know, and understand things that you and I can’t perceive or measure yet, but that doesn’t make them less real. God injected himself into his created world through Jesus Christ, what we call the incarnation, where God becomes flesh to show us his heart. It’s remarkable!
We might wonder about God’s perspective on COVID-19 today. What is he thinking in the midst of this pandemic? Well… we don’t know! But we might remember that when Job in the Old Testament lost everything and understood nothing, he made a remarkable statement: “I know that my Redeemer lives, and that in the end he will stand upon the earth. And after my skin has been destroyed, yet in my flesh I will see God. I myself will see him with my own eyes…” (Job 19:25-27).
God can see, know, and understand things that you and I can’t perceive or measure yet, but that doesn’t make them less real.
Job understood that God sees everything clearly and understands when we don’t. Through all of Job’s travails, he maintained one thing: God is still God. Hang on to that thought today. Our God is not out of control, he is still God, he will finish the work that he started, and he will be victorious.