I Don’t Know Everything – And Neither Do You

Quonset

Most of what I write publicly is simply me talking to myself, hashing out Biblical truth to get my mind straight – then sharing it with you. And while I could write about that for three lifetimes, the fact is, the Bible doesn’t talk about a lot of things.

And that means that I don’t know a lot of things.

I don’t know why the flu shot was only fifty percent effective this year.

I don’t know what causes autism (and frankly, nobody does).

I don’t know what goes through the head of someone who kills a fellow Marine, American sniper, hero, and friend who is trying his best to help said killer succeed in post-war life.

I don’t know if you should vaccinate your children (although I have an opinion).

I don’t know why a short hand wash under the well water to my house makes me sick.

I don’t know why ISIS has been allowed to get away with so much satanic, inhumane crap before someone started bombing their brains out.

I don’t know who the next president will be, nor will I ever understand why on earth America was stupid enough to elect our current president not once, but twice.

I don’t know if all those HONY’s (Humans Of New York) are telling the truth. But I know some of them are pretty blunt about their lots in life.

I don’t know why our dream of living in the country has turned into a nightmare.

I don’t know if my body will ever be healed this side of Heaven.

And as for those last two “I don’t knows”, I wish people would quit asking “why?”

Because I don’t have answers.

I have many answers to many questions, because I have God’s Word. But where He is silent, I am silent.

I’m weary of this world, of myself, asking why. We are like the four year old who thinks it’s funny to ask the parent “why” about every. single. thing.

But it’s not funny. It’s annoying.

Maybe we don’t need to know why, but Who.

I get it. If we knew why, then maybe we could be healthier, wiser, richer. No harm in bettering the world in which we live. This is truth. But there IS harm in fighting about all the things we don’t know enough about (measles, anyone?), blame shifting, and insisting on answers.

It’s okay to not know everything.

If we had answers to everything, there would be no need for faith.

Perhaps that’s why we are so desperate for an answer to our plight – or our neighbor’s plight. Because if we can figure it all out, then voila! – no need to trust in anyone but ourselves.

I don’t know how many times I’ve been asked about my health (and now my home) with an underlying tone of “Sooooo … ya got that figured out yet?”

When I was 5 months pregnant with Jessie, and Ashlee was 20 months old, a man at church approached me, looked at my swelling belly, then at Ashlee, then back to my belly, and said, “Don’t you know what causes that by now?”

And then I slapped him in the chops. With my Bible. And told him I probably knew a lot more about what causes “it” than he did.

I’m joshing.

But I wanted to. Because of course I knew what caused pregnancy. I, however, did not know what caused pregnancy while using birth control. And so … I took my little baby bump to mean that God wanted another little person on this earth and He was entrusting me with her care. Thankyouverymuch.

Can I not look at my broken down farmhouse this way? My lack of health? My Mother’s Parkinson’s? My brother’s divorce from a girl who claimed to be Christian but acted the compete opposite starting two minutes after “I do”? My country’s slow but steady moral decline?

I’m not saying don’t fight for answers when there’s fighting to be done. But I am saying when you’ve searched high and low and in every crevice and there are no reasonable explanations, accept.

Elisabeth Elliot says that it’s in the acceptance of what is given that God gives Himself. She’s probably right, and I’m working on it, but I can’t say I’m there every second of the day yet. Some days, all I know for sure is my name. My faith is so small, I’m not certain God is simultaneously sovereign and loving, like I have written about so adamantly, as though it is Gospel truth.

It is Gospel truth.

Other days, I am so faith-filled I nearly explode with the excitement of it all.

Hello, Reader. Nice to meet you. My name is Willy Nilly.

Fortunately, what is true does not depend on what I feel. Or what you feel about me. Or what some seem to be put out about – that I don’t have all my circumstantial duckies in a neat little row.

Truth is truth. Never changing. Always there. Always waiting for me to come around and see things it’s way. His way.

And I guess I’m writing today because I’m exhausted in every way and I just want to say this: I don’t know everything, and neither do you. And that’s okay.

I will go on writing what I do know. But when you ask me whether I’ve got that pesky farmhouse figured out yet, or why I’m still, after lo these fifteen years, unable to eat anything more than freaking chicken or yogurt, or any number of other trivial, mysterious things going on in my life and the world, I will offer you one thing:

A shoulder shrug.

I cannot reveal what is hidden.

Your job, then, is to refrain from imitating those annoying, self righteous friends of Job.

I don’t need your advice or opinion so much as I need your love. And you don’t need to have answers to silly questions like, “So what have you learned from this situation? Why do you think God is allowing this?”

Truth is, I don’t always know. Because sometimes, it’s years from when a painful experience happens that a lesson is learned. What I am gleaning from my pain shouldn’t be the first thing you ask. Job had no idea why he was wiped clean of his possessions and family, and it was not helpful to be called upon to come up with answers, lickedysplit.

I had open heart surgery when I was 17. For seven years, I struggled with debilitating fatigue, fainting, and fast, irregular heartbeats. So fast and irregular that they told my Mom if they didn’t get it under control, I would flow in the footsteps of the kids she saw in the news every so often who suddenly dropped dead on the basketball court.

To this day, I don’t know of a great reason for that trial. It happened. I suffered. I had surgery and got better and here I am with an uber cool, foot long scar, and a not so cool shorter scar and pacemaker bump below my clavicle.

What if, sometimes, we go through things not because we are being punished or “need more sanctifyin’!”, but because God said so, He has a plan, and we are simply called to be faithful throughout that plan?

I suppose that is a form of sanctification in and of itself … learning to trust deeper. To persevere.

Looking back, I can say that during the years I had heart problems, I learned to trust deeper as far as my salvation is concerned, because there’s just something about allowing another fallible human being to stop your heart, saw open your chest, freeze your AV node, and send you into complete heart block that makes you realize your mortality. But the point is: I don’t recall much else coming from that trial. And I guess I’m suggesting that sometimes, we go through things for the benefit of others.

I’m certain my Mom feels differently about my heart surgery, and she would say she learned a ton from raising a daughter whom she was not sure would live past 12.

So, indirectly or directly, I know there’s always a reason.

But …

Please. Don’t ask me to explain said reason. I don’t know the answers for why I go through what I do or why the headlines read as they do. The reasons are not listed. There is no chapter. No verse.

All I know is what should be my heart response to the trial. So if you ask me anything, ask me if I’ve been able to respond Biblically. Ask me if you can pray. How to pray. What to pray.

And then pray.

But don’t ask me why. Because I don’t know. And because I may smack you upside the head with my Bible.

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