something more needed than answers

Reason is an important part of our humanity, and is honored time and again in scripture. God reasons with us, even when in our sin we are unreasonable and irrational. But appeals are part of the mix in God’s “prevenient” (going before) work of grace, which is present to help us come to our senses and repent, and like the lost, prodigal son return to the father, whose heart and hands are always open.

Even if we were given answers that would suit us, it ends up being that we need more than that. We even need much correction in our thinking to begin with, though as a rule there is enough of God’s imprint through creation left on us for something of God’s work to go on in appealing to our minds.

In the last couple of years, a passage of scripture has been particularly impressed on my mind, and I hope on my heart and life, Proverbs 3:5-6:

Trust in the Lord with all your heart
    and lean not on your own understanding;
in all your ways submit to him,
    and he will make your paths straight.

It has been well said, I believe from Thomas Merton and surely from many others, something like: It’s more about accepting mystery than receiving answers. There surely are all kinds of reasons for that, one of the most basic of all: we simply can’t comprehend the wisdom and knowledge of God any more than we can take in all of God.

We must simply believe in the end that God is great in God’s goodness and good in God’s greatness. “God is great and God is good.” We must be like little children before the Father, trusting in the Father’s good will and love for us and for the world in and through Jesus. Growing and becoming more and more mature in that belief and appreciation, so that hopefully we’re changed.

In the end, about many things we’ll have to simply admit and freely acknowledge that we just don’t know. We are not capable of sorting out and fixing, or even understanding what needs to be fixed in the first place. We have to leave that in God’s good hands. Both in a faith that prays in commiting everything to God and waits for God’s grace and power in the already present and coming kingdom of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.

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