The kingdom of heaven is like unto a treasure hidden in the field.Mat 13:44
One of the big questions of faith, especially Christian faith is the question why God has not left us with more evidence for his existence.
I can hear my fundamentalist friends react immediately, enumerating all the miracles they have experienced in their lives. And I admire them for their faith expression and certainty–while obviously, certainty is the opposite of faith.
But on a deeper level, personal experiences are always subject to interpretation. If I believe in a personal God that looks after me and performs miracles on my behalf, then I interpret positive experiences as miracles, just as I then have to construct or belief in an adversary that I can attribute the bad stuff to.
Thus, miracles are usually not an indisputable proof of the existence of the divine, but certainly can be a trace of God in this universe.
I think it is very important that we have no proof for the existence of the divine. If we did, faith were certainty and the whole thing would be over.
Imagine a computer finding a way to win a chess game from every possible position–no way out. The game would be over, as nobody would play it any longer. Maybe some freaks that want to program a computer that uses less moves to do the trick, or can do it with the other color. And it would become an interesting question on what would happen if we let two computers play each other. Sort of the unstoppable force meeting the immovable object.
But back to God.
Why is it important that we do not know, but have to believe? Some say because it is necessary for love to exist. One has to have free will to love something, because you cannot love unless you have the choice to hate. But one could do that with full sight. The satan of the Christian narrative seems to have done that, and Adam did as well–and so do we, choosing our partners.
It is not necessary to hide in order to be loved, en contraire. Loving what we do not see is much harder. Loving somebody that conceals parts from us is even harder.
But loving what we do not understand and what would blow our minds if we did see it is not good either. We can live with the part of not understanding–just think of your partner. But then, your partner is more like you than not, and we still have challenges.
How can God reveal himself to us? By revealing what we are capable of handling at the time, and doing this strategically so that we grow in our capacity to conceive what he reveals.
We reveal stuff to our children in a progressive manner, and we reveal ourselves to our partners based on the trust level and maturity of our relationship.
If that is true for God, we have to see traces of this in the biblical narrative and the history of mankind. And we certainly do.
God first led mankind into consciousness, before revealing them basic concepts like mortality and the possibility of a spiritual realm. He did not care about what we did with it quite yet, because superstition put us on a track to explore the unknown, on a search for meaning.
Exploring God and life within our family and tribe, searching for basic security and safety, we grew in the awareness of our strength and prowess and started to explore wider territory, as portrayed in the stories of the tower of Babel, with all the reluctance and need of godly intervention, or of Abraham with all the courage and faith he displayed.
The exploration of our strength led us to construct strength based hierarchies, and as we know, hierarchies tend to become tyrannical in nature.
Thus, God revealed yet another side of himself–the God of order. With Moses, we know the God that provides, the Lord of hosts, the God that fights for us, the God that is, and just added the God of order.
The prophets, and finally Jesus and Paul add the God of the individual as a father. It takes some time for the church to grasp this, as the history of man is not a straight line of development towards the better, but has many downfalls and detours.
God reveals himself progressively and in the speed we are capable of grasping what he shows us. He never stops doing so, and it would be highly narcissistic to believe that we know all there is to know.
We know what is necessary to do the next step, and we discover, even in the Bible, but certainly in the relationship with God, what we need for the step after that. And sometimes, traces of that can be found in history, but then we have declined and refused the new revelation or coined it as heresy, adding yet another detour to our growth process.
There are times when “the time has come,” just as it is said of Jesus, to take the next step.
But let me be clear: all this does not answer the question of why there is not more evidence for God. But just as a child needs to trust their parents and teachers that they have a plan that might be beyond their mental capacity or understanding, we just might have to trust.
This is the reason I love the translation of the word pistis as trust much more than believe or having faith.
This is true also for the question of why there is so much pain in the world. There are countries and societies that see God as a helper through pain, and others that ask why he does not prevent pain.
The pre-rational mind sees God as a helper through the atrocities and hardships of life, and they cannot see the paradox that God is life and the creator of all things and therefore even of pain and suffering as well as the one helping us through the very thing he created. The traditional mindset is fine with the explanation that God somehow deems it necessary for evil to exist, and provided a way through.
The modern mind of cause and effect has problems with that line of arguing. Why not eliminate the root problem instead of providing some easement for the symptoms? When modern man treats symptoms, it is either from a place of incompetence or to make money, and neither motivation is a godly attribute.
It is but when we see that all happens to have us grow into our destiny, and trust that God, seeing more than we see, does use pain and suffering for us to grow, we might catch a glimpse of what is going on. And we might be just wrong.
It might well be that God is becoming with us, as we evolve.
All we know: these questions are profound, and it is important for us to ask them and wrestle through them. It is sometimes embarrassing and even insulting how they are answered, but then those answers come from a worldview that mostly is pre-rational and certainly pre-logical.
All said, I leave the answer to you. I might have given you some food for thought, and the resulting wrestling is honoring God and deepening your relationship with him. That is good enough for me, as it opens up all possibilities for you. Just keep your heart and mind open and wrestle.