living with ambiguity

We might like to say that when all was said and done in the story of Job, that Job had learned to live with a sense of ambiguity. But there’s much more to the story than that. Job had come to see God in a new way through God’s word to him. Life was no longer foolproof in the way Job had hoped, and yet it was in the hands of a good God, even if inscrutable in his ways.

I like clarity and I want to be confident that if A is done, B will result. And in this day of information overload, we can find out all sorts of things that in one way or another are supposed to make a difference for good or ill in our lives. But our thoughts on the the end of the story, and on various points in it may not at all be in line with God’s thoughts. Though we know that the end of the story is good.

Oftentimes when it comes down to it, we simply don’t know. We’re pressed because we want to know, indeed we live in a culture which values above all else, knowledge. We want to figure things out and manage our affairs well, including living in God’s will in Jesus. But to do so, we’re going to have to accept and even learn to embrace a certain amount of ambiguity.

My problem oftentimes I think is that I don’t know where to draw the line. How much do I need to know on a given matter, and when can I simply let it go? I have been told that I over-think, and though rare, thoughts can be swirling in my head and keep me awake at night. But I wonder if that isn’t a sign that I need to accept some ambiguity then and there. Certainly I need to place the matter in God’s hands, and keep doing so. Even as I may go on wrestling over it.

In the end we want something of the gift of God’s peace. And some closure on a matter. Perhaps it will involve a process of working through, again even wrestling through an issue. Some matters can’t be settled yet, but others should be when all too often they’re not. May the Lord give us the grace to know the difference as we learn more and more to rest in God’s faithfulness in Jesus.

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