I spent years getting stuck on all the big questions in life. All the things that don't have easy answers and sometimes just matters of the heart that don't seem to resolve.
I didn't know then that I was made to think deeply about things and that a part of who I am is to see holes and find solutions. It was always tricky becasue I am almost equal parts logic and emotion. Where there are many people that specialize in one or the other... I seem to have a lot of both in me. To be honest, it was really hard when I was young and I felt isolated and like something was wrong with me. Depending on my surroundings I wanted to be less emotional or less logical.
However, God has been incredibly faithful to put me around people that accept me for who I am (faults included) and love me while I figure out more and more of who I am and how to opperate in community. That wasn't and isn't always pretty, but in the end I see the beauty and love it.
I want to take some time to look through my journals to remember where I have come from and see what things are drawn out and write them in a series. I want to start with this thing that I use every day of my life...
When I don't know the answer?
When I was younger not knowing the answer was so hard for me. I always wanted to know and when I didn't I would just focus on what I didn't know... determined that if I looked at it harder and longer and turned it around and around, like a Rubix Cube, that I would find the answer there.
When I met Jesus, I would do this in prayer, but my focus really stayed the same. My focus was directly on what was in my hand. This would eventually produce frustration, anger, and then despair. This was where I could find myself spiraling downwards into a pit. At the bottom of the pit I would finally look up (because that was the only direction left) and Jesus would reach down and lift me up. My prayer was usually.. "Jesus help" and he always did.
Eventually the root of the matter was adressed through healing and my trust for the Father began to let me relax in not knowing the answer, but still trusting that I could ask the questions and He is faithful to show me more.
So what do I do when I don't know the answer now?
I focus on what I do know.
There is a momentum that builds just like it used to build when I focused on the question or the problem, but it goes up and not down. I now can focus on the solution... or the one who holds the solution. This makes it easier for me to live life and not run from it or get overwhelmed by it.
This allows me to sit with friends in difficult times and to "mourn with those who mourn" without the feeling that I have to have an answer to the problem. I can sit with them and when they are ready to look for solutions, I can help them look at what we know.
I can hear you now, "That is great Charlene, but what do you know and how do you know it?"
Honestly some of what I know I know from experience. There are truths of the Word that are timeless. Jesus himself is the WAY the TRUTH and the LIFE. However it has been my history with God that gives me increased confidence in those things. On my journey when I had less confidence I would borrow the confidence of trusted friends... and tell myself the truth ALTHOUGH I DIDN'T FEEL it or SEE IT. Over time the truth became my experieced truth and something I can now lend to those that need to borrow it while they build their history.
This week I was talking to someone and she was telling me about a friend of hers who is not following the Lord and is living in an alternative lifestyle. She recently had a miscarriage (and it was her second) and commented that she guessed it was God's will.
My friend was asking basically - "Do you think God would do that, I mean she isn't really following Him and..."
Do I know why she had a miscarriage? No.
So, what do I know?
I know that God is a LOVING FATHER. I know that He came to GIVE life NOT to TAKE it. I know that HE loves children and that while he disciplines his sons and daughters like any good Father... He doesn't punish. I also know that SATAN has come to STEAL, KILL, and DESTROY and that he along with SIN and consequences to actions are in this world. I know that GOD LOVES this woman and LOVES those babies.
If this person were sitting in front of me or came to my church, I could LOVE them... mourn with them in their loss and walk them one step at a time to the TRUTH that promises complete FREEDOM.
So instead of trying to answer the questions we don't really know and often times coming up with lame answers that don't really reflect the heart of our Father. I want to encourage us all to go to the ONE with the answers and FOCUS on what you DO KNOW about Him. He is FAITHFUL and HE WILL ALWAYS COME THROUGH... even if it doesn't look like what we think or in the timing we expect. He turns all things to good... and you can trust him.
Is there something you don't know the answer to now? What do you know?
I encourage you to change your focus and see what happens!