I Know… I Don’t Know…

by Judi Chow

I can’t stand it when people think they have all the answers, particularly when I know that person doesn’t know anything regarding to the subject matter. Did you catch me? I just became that presumptuous person when I wrote, I know that person…! The revelation came during seminary graduation with a little panic, now I know I don’t know much about God, theology, the Bible, and myself for that matter! It was years later that I am thankful I have this awareness- that I don’t know. The next question is, do I really want to know, how much or how deep do I really want to know about God, life, and the future?

An old hymn came to mind– “I don’t know about tomorrow, I just live from day to day… Many things about tomorrow, I don’t seem to understand, but I know who holds tomorrow, and I know who holds my hand.” I have to admit there are many things I don’t understand and have no answers to. I won’t pretend a philosophical answer to “Why does God allow suffering?” will ease the pain of those sobbing or shouting, “Where is God when the building’s crashing down on my parents? Why didn’t God save my wife? How can I go on living while my only son is dead?”

Suffering is painful and separation is difficult no matter how you look at it. How can anyone endure the unbearable and have the strength to face tomorrow? I believe only love can dry the tears and restore hope. Don’t you remember John 3:16? “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son…” Because of love, God endured separation from His only son. Because of love, Jesus endured suffering for our sake. Because of love, we have hope of restoration. Buildings might crumble, lives would change, but the spirit is not crushed because I know who holds my hand.

Take time to contemplate the meaning of Psalm 119:71 “My suffering was good for me, for it taught me to pay attention to your decrees.” I will never have the answers to many life questions until when I meet Jesus face to face. Meanwhile, get to know God more and more, than I might be able to understand His decrees a little better. I don’t know about you, but I know 1 Corinthians 13:13 “Three things will last forever…” I particularly like the Message translation: “…Trust steadily in God, hope unswervingly, love extravagantly. And the best of the three is love.” Let love be our motivating force to face each new day and to accept the unknown reasons behind the suffering we witness.

And God Said, “No”

by Claudia Minden Weisz

I asked God to take away my pride,
And God said, “No.”
He said it is not for Him to take away,
but for me to give up.

I asked God to make my handicapped child whole,
And God said, “No.”
He said her spirit is whole,
Her body is only temporary.

I asked God to grant me patience,
And God said, “No.”
He said that patience is a by-product of tribulation,
it isn’t granted, it’s earned.

I asked God to give me happiness,
And God said, “No.”
He said He gives blessings,
Happiness is up to me.

I asked God to spare me pain,
And God said, “No.”
He said, “Suffering draws you apart from worldly
cares and brings you closer to Me.”

I asked God to make my spirit grow,
And God said, “No.”
He said I must grow on my own,
but He will prune me to make me fruitful.

I asked God if He loved me,
And God said, “Yes.”
He gave me His only Son who died for me,
and I will be in Heaven someday because I believe.

I asked God to help me love others,
as much as He loves me.
And God said,
“Ah, finally you have the idea.”