“It seems very pretty,” she said when she had finished [the poem], “but it’s rather hard to understand!” (You see she didn’t like to confess, even to herself, that she couldn’t make it out at all.) –Through the Looking-Glass by Lewis Carroll
In Alice’s second adventure by Lewis Carroll, the heroine comes across a poem about the creature Jabberwocky, but the words are backwards. Only by placing the book in front of a mirror is the girl able to read the script, and even then the poem’s lines are considered incomprehensible.
In many ways, God’s Word is as enigmatic as the poem Alice finds. We know the Bible is a book that is to be revered for its timeless wisdom. We know that God speaks to us through the ancient Scriptures. We know we are to base our lives fully on the words scattered through its holy pages as we aspire to live as His children and do His will. But there are times when His magnificent Word makes no sense at all.
When doubts arise and frustration threatens to bubble over, voice your concerns to our Lord, the one and only Author of the very book you flip through. Ask for understanding for the passages of Scripture that seem random, odd, or difficult to swallow. If you sincerely desire to embrace the truths behind the words you puzzle over, ask for insight. But, most importantly, ask for patience—with His timing of revelation and with yourself as you continue to ponder verses He has purposefully written. If His words seem dry and inert, ask Him to reveal the vibrancy and life that burn within them. Ask Him to show how His Word was written specifically for you so that you sense the deep love and active richness within His promises, commands, and recorded history.
If you persevere in patient stillness, and in letting God open your eyes to see His Word from His perspective, you will see the pieces fall into place. You will feel the life and light coursing through its passages. You will perceive the minute details and how they factor into the larger picture that is our Creator’s masterpiece.
If the Bible seems nonsensical, trust He will provide insight and understanding, because that is a promise He will lovingly and graciously fulfill!
You have laid down precepts that are to be fully obeyed. Open my eyes that I may see the wonderful things in Your law. Teach me, LORD, the way of Your decrees, that I may follow it to the end. Give me understanding so that I may keep Your law and obey it with all my heart.
–Psalm 119: 4, 18, 33-34 (NIV, 2011)
Behold, I long for Your precepts; in Your righteousness give me renewed life.
–Psalm 119: 40 (AMP, 1987)