“By faith we understand that the worlds were prepared by the word of God, so that what is seen was not made out of things which are visible.” – Hebrews 11:3
There are two kinds of understanding talked about throughout Scripture. The first is a kind of spiritual wisdom, which we are implored to pursue (though it cost all you have, gain understanding; Proverbs 4:7). The second is a kind of worldly perspective we are taught to set aside (do not lean on your own understanding; Proverbs 3:5).
One of the great challenges in a life of faith is living in the tension of these two kinds of understanding. How do we do our best with what we know while embracing the reality we do not comprehend it all? How do we see while trusting in the unseen?
The answer is a bit like riding a bicycle. We don’t really understand gravity, but we believe it. The key to using the reality of gravity as an ally while propelling ourselves forward to a destination of our choosing is to hold the tension.
In the spiritual realm, this balance comes through faith. Pursue wisdom. Ask God. Do so in wisdom and humility.
Faith, in the end, is not about us “figuring it out” but about who we trust. In the midst of our pain, we are forced to wrestle with understanding. St. Anselm rightly said “I believe in order to understand.” All human understanding is founded on some sort of faith. Our ultimate foundation should be faith in Jesus. In the tension of our capacity and our incapacity, we are presented with the most important question of our lives – in whom do we trust?