To Embrace the Unanswered

How I wish I could pull out all the tendencies I hold dear and kill them.

{Unless they’re holy, of course.}

Instead, I fight them daily and strive with every intentional bone in my body
to create habits which only the Bible ordains.

Questions, for example.

In times past, I would read the Bible, end of story.

Now, I read the Bible and ask a million questions.

The only problem is – I expect answers.

Well, it’s not that I shouldn’t expect answers.

It’s just that answers won’t always come.

So, I should expect answers, but be okay with none.

And I should expect answers, but not necessarily right away.

Because, here’s the danger.

If I’m reading the Bible, in a hurry to find answers to all my crazy questions,
I might find “answers” that are actually my own {or someone else’s} and not God’s.

Does God not want us to find the answer?
Hasn’t he made a way for us to know what we need to know?

Yes.

And sometimes, all we need to know is that he’s bigger than our unanswered questions.

So, I fight hard to hold on to this new habit.

To read the Bible.

To ask lots of questions.

To expect answers.

But until the answers come . . .

To embrace the unanswered.

For even when our questions are unanswered,
we find one constant – Jesus Christ, the same yesterday, today, and forever.

And he is really the only Answer we need.

 [image credit: unsplash.com]


11 thoughts on “To Embrace the Unanswered

  1. I second your advice to be patient and wait for Gods answers. Be still (enough with the questions !) and for now just concern yourself with my word to you – to KNOW that I am God ps 46:10. By the way I like the Spacin and centering of the text in your post. Makes it easy to read!

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  2. I believe some of my questions, well maybe most of my questions won’t even be answered until I see Him face to face and finally know in full. Until then, I cling to Proverbs 3:5-6. 😊

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  3. when doubting and voicing those doubts, an older wiser friend said, “God wouldn’t be a big enough God if He couldn’t handle our questions.” that and ongoing reading and seeking changed the course of doubt for me. He’s big enough so that I don’t need all my questions answered. bless you in your reading and seeking and believing! next to this am in CA

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  4. The hardest thing is to have a loved one be really sick, and end up with medication that actually harms and makes them worse. I do believe in Miracles and have seen and experienced a few, but we do question why when our loved ones suffer. All I do is put them in the arms of Jesus and trust that through a miracle, or science, that someway they shall find relief. God does not have a magic wand even though we wish a prayer could be answered quickly as a wave or the hand. The deep questions that remain unanswered, will have to wait until it is revealed to us in heaven. Thank you for your thoughtful post shared here with us at Tell me a Story.

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    1. Thanks for sharing, Hazel. I was more specifically referring to questions that come to mind as I study Scripture. Not so much questioning God, but simply trying to understand what the Bible is saying. I ask lots of questions as I study, looks for answers, but recognize that I may not find all the answers in this lifetime, and I don’t want to find “answers” that aren’t actually in the text. Hope that helps to clarify. But thanks for your input!

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  5. Amen. I have a whole notebook of questions that come to mind as I read my Bible. I’m patiently and prayerfully seeking God’s answers, because I know He isn’t afraid of my questions! Blessings!

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    1. I personally prefer not to use commentaries. I talk about it a little here (https://journeyoftheword.com/2014/11/14/stop-reading-this-blog/), here (https://journeyoftheword.com/2016/04/17/my-favorite-bible-study-method-in-7-easy-steps/), and here (https://journeyoftheword.com/2016/06/04/dos-and-donts-of-bible-study/).
      Basically, I stay away from commentaries for two reasons. One, commentators are just as fallible as I am. What they are writing may or may not be truth. So, if I’m going to read them, I need to at least realize that. My tendency would be to look for an “answer” in a commentary and immediately accept it. So it’s probably better for me to keep my distance.
      Two, even if the commentators can provide me with some “answers,” I would rather do the hard work myself and find the answers in the Scriptures myself. Much of the work those commentators do doesn’t require a Doctorate. It simply requires time in the Word. I know I’ll learn a lot more if I struggle with the Word instead of resorting to a commentary.
      So that’s my take on it. If anything, I might go to a commentary at the conclusion of my own personal study of a particular passage, just to see how their ideas compare with my own. But my number one suggestion to people when it comes to Bible study is, don’t use any commentaries or study helps! I think the process and the discoveries are that much more amazing without them!

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