We are a people who love a good mystery as long as it leads to a good ending-bad guys vanquished, questions answered, motives revealed and a tidy resolution.
But real life is rarely so neat and squared away.
Just consider your average doctor’s visit. Diagnosis is often a result of trial and error when a simple blood test or throat culture is unavailable to confirm or rule out a particular malady. Yet we blunder forward, trying this and that until something either works or the illness runs its course.
Relationships are even trickier. We stand toe-to-toe with others hoping we understand what they are saying or not saying, feeling or not feeling-all the while forced to act and react in the space between. It’s a wonder we aren’t all at war with one another.
And then there are the big “What ifs?” and “Whys?”
The cosmic questions that rock our world and threaten to undo us.
These are the questions that filled my mind and kept me awake at night after burying my son. Questions I was free to ignore before they took up residence in my soul and echoed in my head with every thump, thump, thump of my beating heart.
It took a very long time for me to learn to live with them unanswered. And there are still moments when I scream aloud and raise my fist to the sky, demanding an accounting.
But most days, I can rest in that space between the asking and the answer-if not exactly at peace-then at least in a state of suspended animation.
And that may really be all God expects of me this side of heaven.
Job never did get any answers.
He stood before God speechless and in awe.
That’s pretty much where I am right now.
I don’t have to like it.
I don’t have to understand it.
I only have to be willing to admit that He is God and I am not.
Job answered God:
“I’m convinced: You can do anything and everything.
Nothing and no one can upset your plans.
You asked, ‘Who is this muddying the water,
ignorantly confusing the issue, second-guessing my purposes?’
I admit it. I was the one. I babbled on about things far beyond me,
made small talk about wonders way over my head.
You told me, ‘Listen, and let me do the talking.
Let me ask the questions. You give the answers.’
I admit I once lived by rumors of you;
now I have it all firsthand—from my own eyes and ears!
I’m sorry—forgive me. I’ll never do that again, I promise!
I’ll never again live on crusts of hearsay, crumbs of rumor.”
Job 42:4-6 MSG