I have met so many people who are hesitant to build a relationship with God because they have unanswered questions. They are skeptical because there are so many aspects of world/life events that they don’t understand. As humans, we have an obsession with figuring things out. Puzzles, word games, mystery novels, and crime investigation shows intrigue us. Most professions involve innovating, analyzing, researching, or teaching. Our natural drive and ability to figure things out is the reason that we live in such an advanced and technological world! However, the truth of God is not dependent upon our understanding… it stands firm in the midst of our lack of our understanding! God doesn’t promise that we will know everything while we are here on this earth. He actually says the opposite! The definition of having faith in something is believing what you can’t see.
When it comes to the bible, we all need to let go of our control. We need to loosen the reigns on the idea that every fact and detail needs to be analyzed before we can come to a conclusion. In fact, most (dare I say “all”?) believers will tell you that their first encounter with God (or when they first became a Christian) was not based upon a researched and calculated decision but a feeling of some sort. Even if research into different religions was how they were introduced to Christianity, I have never met someone who came into a relationship with Christ based on historical facts. Most of our understanding of God comes from prayer. A relationship with him means that there is a back and forth – the more time I spend reading scripture and in prayer/quiet solitude, the more I understand God’s character.
As believers, the innate desire to know everything does not go away. We sometimes turn our prayers into imaginary magic-8 balls. Have you ever asked God to tell you how your life is going to turn out? To reassure you that in 5 years you will have children? To tell you what career path you should be on? Don’t get me wrong… I don’t think that asking for these reassurances and guidance is wrong. However, it becomes harmful when we get upset with God or don’t trust God’s plan when OUR plan doesn’t pan out.
When I look back on times in my life that I have prayed for something specific to work out or for a clear path to be laid out in a particular place in my life, it is during that time of seemingly unanswered questions that I was able to grow. I matured in learning to trust God’s plan. I not only prayed more but actually listened for God’s nudges. I discovered ways that I could be my best self – whether it was in the workplace, in my marriage, or as a friend – in the midst of a stage I desperately wanted to move on from. When God didn’t answer every question about my life that I prayed for (sometimes incessantly for months!), I remembered that we don’t have to have all of the answers to have a relationship with Him.
This is the same concept that I come back to when reading scripture. There are simply some things that we will never know for sure while on earth! There are so many other things to focus on. We don’t know exactly what heaven looks like but we do know that we should love everyone as Christ loves us. God has the ability to save anyone from anything but doesn’t always do this… my limited brain cannot comprehend this! But I do know that no matter what goes on in this world, heaven is so much better and we will finally have a perfect relationship with God when we get there. There is such freedom in the unanswered questions because it means that we don’t have to have it all figured out… Christ died for us and God continues to pursue us day after day no matter what! God doesn’t require us to be neatly packaged up and that is the most reassuring thing he could tell us!
Proverbs 3:5-8 “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all ways submit to him and he will make your paths straight. Do not be wise in your own eyes; fear the Lord and shun evil. This will bring health to your body and nourishment to your bones.”
Matthew 8:23-26 (Jesus Calms the Storm) “Then he got into the boat and his disciples followed him. Suddenly a furious storm came up on the lake, so that the waves swept over the boat. But Jesus was sleeping. The disciples went and woke him, saying, ‘Lord, save us! We’re going to drown!’ He replied, ‘You of little faith, why are you so afraid?’ Then he got up and rebuked the winds and the waves, and it was completely calm.”
Ecclesiastes 11:5 “As you do not know the path of the wind, or how the body is formed in a mother’s womb, so you cannot understand the work of God, the Maker of all things.”
James 4:14 “Why, you do not even know what will happen tomorrow. What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes.”
1Samuel 16:7 “The Lord does not look at the things people look at. People look at the outward appearance but the Lord looks at the heart.”
John 14:27-27 “But the Advocate, the Holy Spirit… will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you. Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.”
James 1:27 “Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world.”
James 5:7-8 “Be patient, then, brothers and sisters, until the Lord’s coming. See how the farmer waits for the land to yield its valuable crop, patiently waiting for the autumn and spring rains. You too, be patient and stand firm, because the Lord’s coming is near.”
Matthew 6:25-27 “… do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes? Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life?”