Monday, October 16, 2000, was a dreary-looking evening near our home in rural Missouri, just outside St. Louis. It was rainy and foggy, a stay-home kind of night. My wife and I were in our family room when we suddenly heard – and felt – a rather strong rumble. “Was that thunder?” she asked, seemingly uncertain.
“Of course it was thunder,” I responded, somewhat condescendingly, “what else would it be?” I had no doubt that what we had heard and felt was thunder. It was the only thing in my experience that would have caused such a rumbling.
The next morning, taking our kids to school, we found out I was wrong. Dozens of news vans, with satellite dishes mounted on the tops, lined the small two-lane road between our house and the kids’ school. It hadn’t been thunder. A plane had crashed less than a mile from our home. Everyone on board was killed, including the governor of Missouri.
I had never heard a plane crash before. It was outside the realm of my experience. Consequently, I had tried to make reality fit into my experience. It didn’t work.
We can have a tendency to do the same thing with Scripture. We read something in the Bible and try to understand it based on our previous experiences. Yet the truth of God’s Word doesn’t always fit nicely and neatly into our experience.
Instead, we should allow God’s Word to shape our experience. Jesus told us that His Words should be abiding in us. (John 15:8) The Bible is the greater reality. God’s truth – which will stand forever – is far more real than our experiences.
So, rather than trusting our five senses, we should trust the eternal Word of God.
“God is not man, that he should lie, or a son of man, that he should change his mind. Has he said, and will he not do it? Or has he spoken, and will he not fulfill it?” (Numbers 23:19)