“…and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.” Eph 3:19
Compared to what we need to know about human love, we have fallen way short in our knowledge; by the same token, compared to what we ought to know about God’s love, what we know is merely a drop in the vast ocean of God’s abundant charity. We may claim to know something, we know nothing compared to what we need to know. The reality of things eludes us the moment we seem to grasp their essence. Indeed, “a little knowledge is a dangerous thing” concerning the essence of love, for knowing something in part and acting upon it can be rather damaging, and our perception of love can easily be utilized as a weapon to achieve our selfish end.
The daily realities that we encounter may or may not be consistent with our understanding of the love of God, so how do we handle them when inconsistencies do occurs? Do we cast doubt on God’s love or become suspicious of our perception. When faith and sight are in conflict with each other, which side are we going to take?
Does God’s sometimes bring us sorrow and pain? It happens, doesn’t it? If we believe nothing bad will happen to us without God’s consent and yet bad things do happen to us on a routine basis, how do we reconcile the two? “If there is a God, why suffering?” What kind of apology can we offer when atheists raise this sticky question?
Unless, of course, God has a hand in all things that have ever occurred to us, including what brought the most joy and the bitterest sorrow. Quite contrary to what we believe, God intends to bless, not to harm, to bless, not to blast through all the seemingly tragic events. Through things weal and woe, God’s intention remains the same, which is to work them out for our good, ultimately.
God’s love becomes so much more comprehensive and mysterious if we look at it from this point of view, and we will start to perceive our troubles the same way when we look at the cross on Calvary hill. What could be more horrific and brutal than what the Father put the Son through, yet the blood Christ shed on the cross turned into the bloodstream of our salvation. What appeared to be the worst tragedy turned out to be the greatest blessing of all, and only through the spectrum of the cross can we truly comprehend the essence of God’s love. Surely this is the kind of knowledge that surpasses human understanding, and we cannot comprehend it unless we experience it collectively as a church, for various things, both good and bad, do happen to all of us, and we ought to perceive them as a whole from the mysterious perspective of God’s love, so that our understanding and appreciation of the Lord “may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.”