Day 4 – God and Analytics
Technology is changing our world rapidly. One such use of technology that has drastically changed in the last 10 years is the use of analytics. Analytics is the use of mathematics and statistics to analyze a game or task and achieve a competitive advantage. Maybe you've heard of Google Analytics where they figure out exactly what it takes for a 46 year old male who shops at Bass Pro to click on something and buy it! The University of North Carolina, my alma mater, was one of the first collegiate baseball programs to begin using analytics to gain an advantage over their opponents on the diamond. Cameras, radars, and sophisticated GPS equipment was installed all over Boshamer stadium to allow the Tarheels to analyze thousands of data points for every play in baseball. They have statistics on the tendencies of pitchers and hitters. They have statistics on the probably of an outside pitch in this situation resulting in a double play. Heck, they even have scouting reports on umpires and where they likely call the strike zone. NBA, NFL, and Major League baseball teams have entire staffs in the front office who do nothing but analyze all this data and then approach the coaches when a certain pattern emerges that might provide a competitive advantage.
So, here's an interesting question: are there analytics on what God will do and how he operates? Clearly the Scripture tells us in Isaiah 55 that "our ways are not his ways, and our thoughts are not his thoughts." There will be many things about God that we don't understand. Can we predict what God will do? No! However, the characteristics and nature of God does not change. God and his Word are the same yesterday, today, and forever. And in that way, we do have some analytics on God.
Why do bad things happen to good people? Why is a 50 year old friend of mine dying from cancer? Why did my buddy lose his young wife to a Drunk Driver? Why do you and I go through some terrible circumstances? My wisdom can't even comprehend God's wisdom. My plans are so small they can't even be compared with God's plans. Could it be that you and I just don't understand God's wisdom and plans in these circumstances? It doesn't mean there is no God. It just means we cannot understand it.
Think of it this way, with 4 kids, I've been on the receiving end of projectile vomit, poop, pee, and pretty much every other thing that could come out of the human body. I've even held my kids down while a nurse gave them a shot. My children would look at me in terror as the needle came out and had the expression on their face, Dad aren't you going to help me? In reality, the shot was to help them get better from their sickness or prevent them from getting a much worse kind of sickness. But in the moment, they didn't understand the plan or the wisdom behind the plan.
Isaiah 40:8 says "the grass withers, and the flower fades, but the word of our God will stand forever."
Call to Action – spend 5 minutes in prayer today and think about a situation that doesn't make sense in your life. Try thinking about that situation from God's perspective, could there be a part of His plan that you don't understand. Think about ways that God could use this situation for his glory and purposes? Spend 5 minutes in prayer talking to God about this situation.
Be strong and courageous, stand firm in the faith, and have a great day.