How many creatures live under the sea? It’s now thought that between 700,000 and one million species dwell in the world’s oceans. According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, 91 percent of ocean species remain unclassified and 95 percent of the ocean remains unexplored. There’s still a lot to learn down there.
How big is the universe?Space.com describes the observable universe as a sphere with a diameter measuring a mind-blowing 92 billion light-years. Since the universe appears to be expanding, though, other researchers estimate that it may be 250 times larger than what we can observe—at least seven trillion light-years across. My brain aches when I try to comprehend such massive numbers. Physics.org answers the question, “How big is our universe?” by simply saying, “Well, we don’t really know, but it’s big.” Even more mind-boggling is the God who created the stars and the seas.
I believe the miracles recorded in the Bible truly occurred, but I have many questions about them. How did Jesus make blind people see? I don’t know. Since he could heal people instantly, why on some occasions did he heal in stages, as he did with the man who at first saw people “like trees walking around” (Mark 8:22-26)? On second thought, the sense of sight is such a marvelous skill that I can’t explain why our eyes can see in the first place! How did Jesus multiply the bread and fish when he fed the 5,000? I don’t know; but neither can I fully explain how tiny seeds grow into fields of wheat from which we make bread, or how fish multiply every day in oceans, lakes, and streams.
When the Bible says Jesus went around “healing every disease and sickness among the people” (Matthew 4:23), it implies that many more stories could be told. What happened to all of those other individuals Jesus healed? And what about the ones he didn’t heal? Our world contains so much suffering and pain. Why doesn’t the God of miracles step in immediately and heal all of our ills? Job asked questions like those, but he found that interrogating God was like trying to fathom the size of outer space or the depths of the ocean. Job understood only a tiny fraction of the total picture, so he humbled himself and admitted, “Surely I spoke of things I did not understand, things too wonderful for me to know” (Job 42:3).
The God of miraculous power is also the God of infinite wisdom. He can do anything, but he always does the right thing. He knows how, when, and why to intervene with a miracle, and when not to do so. Mix together all of the books ever written and all of the computer data ever compiled; add the combined knowledge of the greatest scholars who ever lived; then throw in the resources found in every library, university, and museum on earth. Sum it all up, and it still equals only a tiny fraction of the mind of God. So let’s keep asking the hard questions, but at the same time let’s exclaim with the apostle Paul, “Oh, the depth of the riches of the wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable his judgments, and his paths beyond tracing out!” (Romans 11:33).
David Faust serves as the Associate Minister at East 91st Street Christian Church in Indianapolis, Indiana.
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