In the middle of the pandemic, I had a “come-to-Jesus moment.” I know people typically use that phrase rather tongue-in-cheek, but in my case, it was literal.
I was telling God how frustrated I was with all the things I didn’t understand about Him, particularly the concept of blessings. All of my life I’ve understood “blessings” to be gifts specifically granted to us by a benevolent and merciful God who sometimes gives us wonderful things. We praise Him for these gifts, of course, counting health, food, home, family, and both physical and financial security among those most commonly granted.
As I matured and saw more of the world, this definition of “blessings” started to feel wrong. Nagging thoughts began in the back of my mind: Are all homeless people abandoned by God? What about the refugees from embattled countries? Are malnourished children and girls sold as sex slaves in God’s blind spot? Where are their blessings? Do they just not have enough faith? Why was I “blessed” with the life I have, and they were left to fend for themselves?
I had come to a place in my journey with God where I felt like He was more of a stranger than a friend, and I no longer knew with whom I was walking. I wanted to keep going, though, because the path I was on felt right. I whispered all my misgivings and doubts and frustrations to Him. The list went on and on until suddenly a gentle light shined on a simple truth inside my mind, and I admitted aloud, “Well, God; maybe I don’t need to understand everything You do. Maybe all I need to know is who You are.”
Peace in the Unknown
A few months later I read a book by Gary Thomas called Sacred Pathways. The book talks about the ways different personalities find to honor, worship, and be close to God. One of the “worship personality types,” as I started calling them, is the “traditionalist,” who feels closest to God when they are sacrificing or dedicating something to Him. I began to ask myself if I was being asked to sacrifice something to God, and if so, what was it?
At some point a connection formed, and I realized that perhaps what I needed to sacrifice was my insistence on understanding. The admonition in Proverbs 3:5 came to mind: “Lean not on your own understanding” (NKJV).
Since then, I have found ways to be at peace with the ways of God. I still struggle with the whole idea of not knowing everything. While thinking about this, I remembered an old song from Michael Card, “To the Mystery.” The chorus speaks of the mystery that presents itself in the clarity that comes when you choose to pray more and wonder less.
My focus now is to stop trying so hard to understand something I absolutely cannot fathom and simply fall down on my knees.
Becky St. Clair is a writer, storyteller, and people enthusiast who is working daily to let the Lord make all things clear.