I’ve probably mentioned that I have a list of questions prepared for when I enter the streets of gold. I add to it regularly, but, of course, most of them are of little importance – like Mosquitos? Really? But I just tuck them away and perhaps Jesus will bring them out and answer every single one. Not the first day, mind you, because I’ve got a lot of catching up to do when I get there.
Questions: the source of many conflicts and controversies right in our neighborhoods, Bible studies, college courses, and churches. Some are big, some not so much. There are deal breakers for some Believers — or people who love Jesus or whatever you may call us — that are of little consequence to others. The end of the Christian world you know may balance on the answer to a tricky question, while I scoff at its insignificance.
We are so high maintenance sometimes.
As if God didn’t anticipate all of our queries, confusions, and ponderings. Ha!
He might have left some things hidden on purpose because knowing them would be too much for our mortal hearts and minds.
Maybe he knew that whatever scripture was to end up in the Bible could not possibly cover all of our questions – or nosiness – so he included as much as he could cram in and left out the less critical items for later.
I don’t know, maybe his sense of humor was at work?
But no matter the reasons or the issues, it is no mystery that Jesus was more about love than keeping score or keeping people in line. He said it, He showed it, He lived it – He gave his earthly life for it.
And I will die on the hill of Love one another…
… and live peacefully beside the mysteries He has not yet revealed.
The mysteries that some of us feel we have figured out, even though they have kept scholars and theologians and pastors, priests, monks, and small group leaders puzzled for centuries.
The mysteries that some of us feel we can shoe-horn into scripture to support our preferred guesses… those guesses we call answers.
- that keep us humble,
- that refuse to let us assume the position of Heaven’s Gatekeeper,
- that God has kept behind a veil, hidden from view until His good time is accomplished,
- that make it impossible to keep God in a box of our own design …
the box that suits our mortal sensibilities …
the box on which is written Us Four No More.
My lovelies, I am a little more hearbroken each time I see my brothers and sisters fall under the curse of certainty. The mysteries of God add so much more to my life and faith than any confidence I may have that “I’m right.”
This lovely season of birth and hope brings with it many questions about His birth and family, what was it like for Joseph, what happened during the years not documented in the Gospels, how was the date in history chosen, and what did the shepherds say to each other? And those questions don’t nearly begin to scratch the surface of what we don’t know.
But there has never been a real question about why Jesus came. It’s simple: He loves us.
And, even if we never figure out another ding-dang thing, He made it clear: Love each other.
That means love you even though your answers about this and that are at serious odds with mine.
And it means love me even when I couldn’t be more wrong about that other thing.
Sure, I’ll keep adding to the list of questions I plan to ask when I get Home.
But, truly, questions will come much later, if ever. Because the very first thing is to begin a new life of never-ending Hallelujahs. Endless thanks because He always was, is, and will be faithful and true, whether my questions were answered or not.
The words of Amy Grant’s Christmas Lullaby caught me by surprise and blessed my soul today. I was reminded of all the questions we ask, the security we demand, and the comfort we require. And I began to realize how much we depend on ourselves and our strength, and that sometimes we want to have the answers not because we are genuinely curious or concerned – but because we don’t ever, ever want to say “I don’t know.”
Well, I’m here to say, “I don’t know about so many things and it’s fine by me.” It’s fine because there is someone bigger and stronger that keeps me so close that those questions pale and vanish. Because I hear Him say,
Trust me and follow me,Christmas Lullaby, Amy Grant and Christ Eaton
And I will lead you Home.
May the season be full of mystery and love. And, until next Monday, I pray for you…