When You Just Don’t Know
There are a lot of things in my life right now that I just don’t know. Things that I want to know. But just don’t.
- Why I’ve made certain decisions in the past.
- How I should be thinking about the future.
- How to best love family members through tough situations.
- How to make the most out of the opportunities I’ve been given.
I just don’t know.
The problem is, something deep down in our human nature wants to know. We think that if we just had the answers to certain things in our lives, if we were just given the why of the whats that are happening all around us, or if were let in on the big picture plans that God has for us, we would be free from the worry and angst that comes from….just not knowing…the why or what or how or where or when.
When we are living in that unpleasant place of just not knowing, it is not easy to hold onto faith. We think that if God was real, He surely wouldn’t allow such mystery and uncertainty to pervade our lives. Or if God really loved us, surely he wouldn’t think it a loving thing to keep things hidden from us. Or we think something must be wrong with us, that we must not be able to hear from God, or else we would know more about what we are supposed to do and what the future holds.
But are any of those things true?
When I take an honest look at Scripture, I see Abraham being told to get up and move his whole tribe without being told where he is supposed to go. I see Joseph being thrown in prison, which didn’t add up (at the time) to the lofty dreams God gave him about his future. I see Job inflicted with pain and suffering and not being told why – ever. I see David who, through poems and songs, expresses distress and angst about the things he does not know. We haven’t even made it to the New Testament yet.
As much as I dislike the feeling of just not knowing and not knowing how to know what I want to know, something tells me this is how things are supposed to be. In God’s economy, things operate differently that we often want them to. Things operate against our human nature.
There’s that question again. The only thing I can surmise is that God has created a world in which we can and must remain in close relationship with him. He loves it when we are dependent on him. The one thing he wants us to know at all times is that we need him to sustain us through the ups, downs, twists and turns of life. I love the words in Psalm 63:7-8:
“Because you are my help, I sing in the shadow of your wings. I cling to you; your right hand upholds me.”
In the midst of all the uncertainty in our lives, may we find comfort in the fact that in our just not knowing, God does know. And as we continue singing and clinging to him in the shadow of his wings even when we are not being given all the answers we want when we want them, we can rest assured that he will uphold us through it all.