Monday, March 05, 2007

living with questions/uncertainty

One of the important realities, I've found along the way, that I've learned to live with, is the fact that I must live with unresolved questions and uncertainty. And learn to do so in joy before God in the walk by faith.

I used to live in a never ending cycle of quagmires. Always seeking to solve some problem that had come to my mind. This was one of those issues that really slowed down progress in my life in God. I lived close to being on edge, most of the time. Wondering when the next problem would come that I would need to resolve.

I'm not sure what's happened that this seems to be a thing of the past for me. It's not that I never have questions that may go unresolved. And uncertainties. But I believe I've learned to live in more dependence on God and interdependence on others, in Jesus. And that I've learned to rest content in who I am, and what I can do. Rather than being unhappy with not measuring up in some way.

Though I think I've really crossed a hurdle, I certainly don't see myself as having arrived. So that I'm never troubled anymore, with uncertainty, questions or doubt. But I also don't care about alot of the issues that used to trouble me. Plus I have more confidence in a good God in Christ, at work in my life and in the lives of others, and in the world. And that I can leave questions and uncertainty about the past, present and future, in his hands.

I doubt that we'll even care to raise many of the questions some of us think we'll bring to God someday. When we're in his presence in the fullness of the kingdom and the new creation, we'll be happy just to rest and live in that presence. Not that no questions might not be raised then.

What helps you live with unresolved questions and uncertainty?


julie said...

I have a friend whose 15 year old daughter is facing leukemia. AGAIN! She walked this road 2 years ago and through medical treatments and the grace of an awesome God, found healing. But now it's back.

She (the mom) told me in a phone conversation over the weekend that she wants me to walk with her through this so she can find a faith that's real in the midst of this situation.

I confess I'm uncertain. Reading your post, I'm trying to figure how to be content. I'm not there yet. I'm concerned I don't know how to help my friend. Do we have enough faith combined for this dark place?

Thanks for the post. It's very relevant to my life today.

Ted Gossard said...

Julie, Just for you to be there for your friend. To be praying for her. To acknowledge that you don't have it all together yourself, in regard to faith in this situation. To weep with her. Be with her. Pray with her. This is where the Lord will meet you and her.

Father, I pray for your hand of mercy on Julie and on her friend. And especially on this daughter. Make yourself known to them. Extend your hand of mercy, healing and grace on her, we pray. Through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Mark Goodyear said...

I was going to post a comment about my own lack of certainty, but then I read Julie's comment. And your prayer.

God, be with Julie. Give her confidence in the midst of uncertainty. Walk with her through this dark night of the soul.

Dave J. said...

Is it too cliche to bring up the serenity prayer?

The thing that confuses and distracts us is asking 'why'. It is an important question, but it can cause problems with contentment and with making decisions.

Ted Gossard said...

Mark, Thanks.

Dave, I do think there is plenty of Biblical wisdom in that prayer.

It seems very much a part of Biblical prayer to ask God why. As in the numerous complaint psalms. And even as our Lord did, on the cross.

But I think we have to learn to live with no answer. Or not having the answer we want. As Jesus had to say in Gethsemane, "Not my will, but your's be done."

But this can be excruciating, of course. Depending on the situation. And we certainly can't minimize that, we know.

Job was changed forever by what he went through, and for good. But no answer or blessing (even ten new children) could, of course, bring back his first ten children, or take away that loss. Not to say he didn't know contentedness in God to a large measure.

I guess this contentedness is to be present no matter what our circumstances. Like Paul we're to learn how to be content through everything.

Thanks, Dave.

julie said...

Thank you for you prayer and support. I really appreciate them. Really.

Ted Gossard said...

Julie, Thanks for sharing that. We'll continue to be in prayer.

andre said...

I know it sounds trite to some but what helps me is the word of God. It is the only unshakable truth and you can bank your life on it, especially when you're facing a life/death scenario. I experienced this when my wife was diagnosed with cancer over 5 years ago...she recovered but during our difficulty, God's word provided indescribable comfort.

Ted Gossard said...

Andre, Amen to that! God's Word helps us through times like that, in dynamic ways, ways beyond us. Since God is in it, of course. Thanks. And great to hear of your wife's recovery.p

julie said...

Andre - I have experienced great comfort in the word as well. That's not trite - just helpful. Thanks.

I have an update: The physicians are now testing for Lyme disease, thinking she may have had exposure to it during a transfusion.
Although this could leave long term neurological impact, I'm still thrilled! I asked my Father for NO LEUKEMIA.

Thanks again for the prayers.

Ted Gossard said...

Thanks, Julie! Great news. We'll continue to be in prayer.

Dale Fincher said...

I'm on 'google alerts' for 'living with questions' and today it brought up this blog of yours... and I can relate! I've lived with a lot of questions from my mother's death to spiritual abuses.

In fact, I wrote a book (zondervan) that just came out two months ago by the same title. It covers some of the hottest questions students are asking today about life and truth and God.

So we're all on this journey together, figuring out what it means to be God's creature and child all wrapped up in one.

Ted M. Gossard said...

Thanks for your comment. I'm interested in your book. Sounds very good and may it be used to bless many.