As a teenager, I knew everything. You could even say I was omniscient. I marveled at the incompetence of adults on the simplest issues. They just didn’t get it. And then I grew up, and something strange happened. I discovered that as an omniscient person, I still had a lot to learn.
So many times I stood so sure of myself only to discover how woefully ignorant I was.
- I knew a lot about the Bible until I went to seminary. It turns out, the more I learned, the less I knew.
- I knew everything about marriage until I got married. But matrimony is course in art, not science. I’ll be learning for the rest of my life.
- I was an expert on parenting until I had kids. Parenting offers a long course of study on your own selfishness.
I’ve learned a lot since I became omniscient. But you know where that omniscient teenager resurfaces the most in my life? The same place it shows itself in your life.
When we’re talking to God.
Taking Our Omniscience to God
We think nobody better understands our needs than us, so we take our omniscience straight to God. We’ll tell Him how much better life would be if He would just do (insert your omniscient request here).
Then when God fails to answer with a resounding, “Yes!” we’ll hurry off to try force things our way, because God’s way is too painful (and certainly too long). To this we are given a lesson in perspective:
Oh, the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are His judgments and unfathomable His ways! For who has known the mind of the Lord, or who became His counselor?” —Romans 11:33-34
We have, at best, an extremely superficial understanding of God’s ways in our lives.
Consider the Awesome Mind of God
Consider for a moment a few of the major events in your life that you can trace to a simple conversation, invitation, or random bit of information.
- Consider how you and your spouse or a good friend met for the first time. What were the chances of that particular event occurring when you came from such different backgrounds?
- Think about a major job change you’ve had or a relocation of some kind. Chances are, although you made some decisions, the events unfolded in ways you never could have imagined.
God’s ways are unfathomable and unsearchable. He Himself has told us:
My ways are higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts. As the heavens are higher than the earth, so a my ways higher than yours. —Isaiah 55:9
Take a Peek at True Omniscience
If you can right now, take a look out a window at the sky. Pretty high, isn’t it? The all-wise, all-knowing, omniscient God has a mind that much smarter than ours. And His ways of dealing with our lives are that much higher too.
God needs no “counselor.” Only the Lord truly knows what will produce the best results in our lives. He thinks long-term, while we tend to think short-term. True omniscience knows what is best, not just what is quickest.
One of the greatest revelations of education and experience come when we realize (and accept) how much we don’t know.
I’ve learned a lot since I became omniscient. How about you?
Tell me what you think: Can you remember a time when you were so certain, and yet, you were completely wrong? To leave a comment, just click here.
This post is adapted from Wayne’s book, Waiting on God: What to Do When God Does Nothing.
• What do you do when the life God has promised you looks nothing like the life he has given you?
• If you find yourself waiting on God—or if you don’t know what God wants you to do next—this book offers a wise and practical guide to finding hope and peace in life’s difficult pauses.
You will discover what to do when it seems God does nothing.