Mystery and Apprehension

Dec 13, 2017   //   by James Johnson   //   Blog  //  No Comments
Just as you cannot understand the path of the wind or the mystery of a tiny baby growing in its mother’s womb, so you cannot understand the activity of God, who does all things. (Ecclesiastes 11:5, NLT)
For just as the heavens are higher than the earth so my ways are higher than your ways and my thoughts higher than your thoughts. (Isaiah 55:9, NLT)
Such reassuring words, yet words that can cause such great apprehension.
Face it… we may love a mystery novel, but we don’t appreciate mystery when it hits us between the eyes. Very few of us are comfortable when there are unanswered questions in our lives. How will the baby’s health play out? How will I be able to pay this bill? How will this new job really impact my career? Will this medicine work?
Those are some tough “trigger questions,” aren’t they? To some, mystery is misery!
God is the greatest mystery there is, and He is in charge of everything and responsible for everything, ultimately. We cannot explain the wind and the weather. Oh, we have ways of predicting what will happen, and detecting the conditions that favor certain types of weather. Several days ago, they accurately predicted that this week would be a “chilly” one in Florida (yeah, I get it, Northerners… we Floridians just don’t understand what cold is… we’ll remind you of that next time we’re shoveling sunshine off the driveway). But I can recall back in September how they thought a certain hurricane was going to go one way, then the next day it was going another, then it went another day entirely the day it hit us. We understand so much more than we did a century ago, but the weather still does whatever it wants in the end.
We understand a lot more about how a baby develops in the womb than we used to. It is a fascinating process. We can explain the division of cells. We can explain how things may have gone wrong in some cases, or how genetics caused something to happen. At the end of the day, however, a couple of the best God-fearing OBGYNs and Pediatricians I know say pretty much the same thing… it’s a miracle!… which is a wonderfully positive way of saying mystery.
My problem is trusting God in the midst of mystery, which is a problem, because Heis mystery. We are called to labor for God in the midst of (often maddening) mystery. We cannot see for sure what will happen. Even now, there are mysteries in my life that I wish like crazy would be solved. But they aren’t, and I find myself frustrated with them, looking for answers, trying to figure out what I should do next without taking actions that could be harmful.
So, what it comes down to is this: do I really trust God?
I trust God. I trust God. I trust God. Yep, sometimes I am saying that over and over again just to convince my own soul that it is true. His ways are higher. His thoughts are higher. He is in control. Do I trust Him? I do. I do. I do.
I think there is a simple solution for apprehension when facing mystery. However, I don’t think it is a solution easily enacted. The best I have found to do is to pray a prayer, something along the following lines…
Lord, you have begun a good work in me. You are faithful. You are completing it, even though I cannot always see and understand what you are doing. I place my [life… passion… idea… situation…] in Your hands. I place my worry for my [career… family… finances… education… situation…] in your hands. Even though the path seems cloudy and mysterious, I place my confidence in You and Your way of working that out. Father, you know my fears. You know my mind better than I do. Please, quiet my soul. Give me rest. At the same time, I plead with You… show me what to do or what not to do. Do not allow me to abandon Your way.
I trust You. Please bolster my trust. I may be saying it over and over again, trying to convince myself that it is true. I need You now. Show Me Your glory, Your faithfulness and love. I will give You the glory.
May God bless you in whatever mystery you may be facing today… He is there… He cares… and He has this, and you, in the palm of His hand! This is a good thing, because, as it says in 1 John 4:8, “… God is love.”

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