“This is what the Lord says, he who made the earth, the Lord who formed it and established it — the Lord is his name. ‘Call to me and I will answer you and tell you great and unsearchable things you do not know.’ ” ~Jer. 33:2-3
There is something profoundly unsettling about an unanswered question.
A question is a form of need; a question is a need for an answer. Needs have a way of becoming progressively louder and louder the longer they go unanswered. The longer a question goes unanswered, the harder it is to believe there was ever an answer in the first place.
When things appear to have no answer, no reason for happening, the world becomes unhinged. When your world becomes unhinged, when your life appears adrift upon a turbulent and disconnected world, there is no telling what you’ll reach out for in order to find something, anything, to hold on to. That’s where excessities come in; they are grab-able, easily accessible handholds, as we’ve seen.
Unanswered questions are a casualty of being in this world. Maybe they’re a part of the “trouble” Jesus says we all inevitably have. They’re a reality we have to deal with now, but this won’t always be so.
Paul says in 1 Corinthians 13:12:
“Now we see but a poor reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known.”
There is a time for every question to be answered; we’re just not there yet. So what do we do in the meantime? If unanswered questions and the turmoil they produce have the power to propel us toward useless excessities, is there a way to stay grounded without having the answer to every question, even the deeper ones?
They way I stay grounded when I don’t know the answer, even when I really need to know the answer, is to rest in the faith that God knows even if I don’t. This doesn’t mean that God is somehow obligated by the Jeremiah passage that started this chapter to tell me everything I ask. This isn’t some sort of cosmic math formula with my question and God’s knowledge required to equal an answer.
I’ve got to factor in Isaiah 55:8:
” ‘For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,’ delcares the Lord.”
Sometimes the answer is, frankly, out of my league. Trusting that there is an answer, even when I don’t know it or God chooses not to reveal it, requires another one of those leaps of faith. In my experience, sometimes the courage to make the leap is enough of an answer in itself.
While the Jeremiah passage isn’t an equation, it is a promise. It’s also very much in line with how God interacts with us. He is all about knowing the truth and revealing the truth. He’s all about giving answers. That’s pretty much what Jesus did for the three years He was ministering here, walking around on the earth.
Jesus spent his time here …
… showing people why He was sent,
… what He was sent to do,
… where He came from and where He was going,
… when He would be leaving and when He would return,
… how to respond to the truth He presented,
… and who sent Him in the first place.
He fulfilled all of the question words — why, what, where, when, how, and who — with answers.
POINTING THE WAY
There is something so powerful about intentionally turning the focus of your life from a narrow field of vision on self and expanding it out to encompass all that God has planned and purposed for you. He never intended for you to live within a shrunken world, within a tight little spiral of spinning excessities. The truth is out there, and it’s a greater life for you.
Your life has been planned by God from the beginning to display His power. Philippians 2:13 says that God is at work in you according to His good purpose. He’s got a purpose for you. But when you stick to your excessities, you hold back what He has planned for you.
The truth of your life in God is out there, and the life He has purposed for you is one where excessities have no place.
Source: Chapter 14, “God Provides Answers” in Gotta Have It! by Dr. Gregory Jantz, founder of The Center for Counseling and Health Resources, Inc.