Want to paralyze your mind? Nothing will do it quicker than a child’s questions about spiritual issues. These sorts of questions come up when you are sitting on the edge of the bed at night, ready to give a final kiss goodnight and say prayers.
Do animals have souls?
Why did God make mosquitoes? (Or, Why does God let bad things happen to good people?)
Why did God let my grandmother die?
Where did God come from?
Some of these questions are amusing, some are painful. For all my reading and theological training, I can’t answer them.
The last one, “Where did God come from?” is one that sent me spinning as a child. It still does. To the human mind, everything has a beginning. People are born and die. Projects are started and finished. Even the universe, however far back we go, four or even six billion years ago, still had a beginning. And in the other direction, although it is a long way off, physicists can calculate that eventually the stars will use up their finite source of energy, burn out and grow cold.
Yet for God there is no beginning. Nor is there an end. He just is. When Moses asked God for his name, the answer came: “I AM WHO I AM.” God just is. As Jesus sends his words of greeting to seven of churches in Asia, he reveals himself as “the one who is, and who was, and who is to come.” Although we can’t understand it, it is that assurance that makes both the book of Revelation and the whole Bible live from one generation to the next. It was true for those who first heard it, and it is true for you as well.
There are many things we can know about God, but much that we can’t. Get quiet and listen. What feelings come as you pause to consider the mystery and majesty of God?
Stephen D. Eyre and Jacalyn Eyre