These words have been tumbling around my mind the past few days................
I don't know. I don't know. I don't know.
As I continue on my quest for knowledge, for wisdom, for understanding, I come up against these words.........
I don't know.
I hunger and crave knowledge. I listen to podcasts, I read my bible, I love to have discussions and talk about the deeper things, the holy things of life. I can get caught up in the knowing. And yet........
I don't know.
For there is knowledge and words and talk in isolation; and then there is knowledge and words and talk in life. And I can have all kinds of theories and explanations and verses and revelation when sitting at my computer, when sitting in a sterile environment objectively debating the merits and points of my views. I can read and quote and pray and feel confident of my beliefs. I can stand strong on the rock, the word of my mighty and loving God.
And I do.
Because He IS mighty and He IS loving. I believe in Him. I believe in the strength of His word. I believe in His sovereignty. I believe.
But I am not He.
I do not have all the answers.
I just don't know.
I don't know why children die.
I don't know why fathers leave.
I don't know why some wombs seem to spontaneously produce life while others remain empty.
I don't know why life on earth ends earlier for some than others.
I don't know why there is brokenness that seems not to heal.
I don't know why there are cravings that seem not to be able to be satisfied.
And my breathe is taken away when thinking of the blessing or burden of being born in a certain place at a certain time - that geography can determine whether you have a child that is fed, that has clean water, that has a chance of celebrating a 5th birthday or even a 2nd. How can coordinates on a map determine such a thing? And what right did I have to be one of the lucky ones.......and what do I do with such a gift?
I don't know.
And so I search and I read and I pray. I ask God for what He might have me do. I believe that He listens and He answers. I believe that I am just one piece of a much larger picture - a mere brushstroke made by the Master. It is not for me to fully know - the whole picture, that is. I am simply responsible for my part.
And so I think that I don't know is a valid answer and it's one that people might need to hear.
I don't have all the answers. My belief in God, in Jesus as my Savior doesn't secure me all knowledge, all wisdom. My belief in Jesus as my Savior secures my salvation and prompts me to live a life in which I take the love that I have been shown by God and share it with those around me. But even that I mess up and I cringe at the thought that anyone might judge God based on my actions, that anyone might look to me as to evidence of who God is.
And I think that we can get caught in a vicious cycle of expectations and misunderstanding and trying to prove who God is and what He says and who is right and who is wrong. We launch attacks through posts and feeds and pithy phrases here and there. We focus more on the words and the sound bites than we do on the heart and the meaning. We waste time being hurt or angered by the fringe. We listen to those who are the loudest, no matter that they seem to be the fewest. There seems to be an expectation of knowing.
But I don't know.
I don't know why skin color seems to be more important than eye color.
I don't know why people love who they love.
I don't know why my gender seems to matter to some and not to others.
I don't know why we have so much and seem to crave so much more.
And while I believe there are some who are called to fight on a larger scale, to be the beginning of a movement, to be on the front lines of a battle............I believe that for most of us the battleground is in our daily lives, our front lines are, indeed, right in front of us. But we get caught up in the words and the hurt and the anger and we let it spill out across the screens of our computers and our phones and we lose the battle before it begins because we are not there. We are not loving the person next to us, we are missing the opportunity to change the world because we think it's not enough to simply love and lift up the person next to us. We want to engage in something bigger, something that "matters" rather than the piece of the larger picture that was given to us.
And, please, do not think that my not knowing translates into ambivalence or that my not knowing means I have no theories or beliefs. I have many. I love nothing more than to talk and discuss and debate. Words are my playthings - meant to have fun with, create with, to lob back and forth in meaningful discussion. But too often they hurt and are used in public forums to create dissent and fracture in communities, families and friends. We have become too careless with words and they slip too easily onto a screen, sent off into a space that has no privacy. And there they sit for all to view and mull over and that screen they sit on can't convey tone or intent just the words in black and white.
And so today......on this screen, in this space........I want you to know that I don't have all the answers. That as a Christ follower who loves Jesus, who lives to serve Jesus and fails miserably each day there is so much that I do not know. Yet.......
I know that God loves you.
I know that my Savior lived, died and rose again so that I may have eternal life.
I know that Jesus is Lord.
I know that I am fully loved.
And that is enough for today.