Thursday, November 20, 2014

Mercy in Not Knowing

I like to plan ahead on everything.

I want to know what's happening next week, next month, and ideally, next year. Make that 5 years. I want to know what God's plans are and how things will happen. I want to be prepared.

But many times I don't know what's happening. There have been times, when as I’ve cried out in prayer about difficult circumstances, relational strain, changes, decisions, or just confusion about the future, I’ve said things to God like:

"Why does this have to happen?"
"Why can’t things stay the same?"
"Why can’t You help me understand what you’re doing?"
"Why can't You just tell me what to do?"

There's a sense of control in knowing what's happening, even if that control is merely perceived. It also seems logical that we deserve to know what's happening in our lives, and why it is happening. So my heart rationalizes my demanding attitude or complaining spirit.

Don’t get me wrong. I’m not promoting we hide our true feelings or fears, because God already knows them. It is good to be honest with God. But where should that honesty take us? Like David in many of the Psalms, does it remind us of God’s goodness, His wisdom, and His power? Or does it take us down the road of self-pity, questioning how God could allow such horrible things to happen to us?

Ultimately, do we want to know things that God does not intend for us to know or understand?

“God is also a wise Father who knows when knowledge is too heavy for us. He is not being deceptive when he does not give us the full explanation. He is carrying our burdens (1 Peter 5:7). If we think our burdens are heavy, we should see the ones he’s carrying. The burdens he gives to us to carry are light (Matthew 11:30).” Jon Bloom, God is Merciful Not to Tell Us Everything
What a perspective change! It isn’t cruel of God to not let me in on His plan, to give me a full explanation or to inform me of the outcome of a circumstance. It's His great mercy! He wants me to trust Him, and not to lean on my own understanding.

I like to think my own “wisdom” or understanding is right. I have to recognize that I am finite and limited, but I serve One who is infinite, all-knowing, and all-powerful. If I would only look at my situations in light of His glory and grace, I would be much quicker to respond in worship. He is in complete control.

Next time you’re questioning a particular difficulty, be honest with God and remind yourself that He is a wise Father who gives us exactly what we need. It's not always what we want, but it is what we need.


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