I have lot of people in my life asking me hard questions.
My 7 year olds ask me questions about how God does certain things and why.
My 5th grade girls' small group spent 20 minutes last week asking me complicated questions about the afterlife and how God operates in this world.
Today a friend asked me difficult questions about an extremely challenging personal issue she is experiencing and what God's Will might be for her life.
My group home Bible Study girls asked me how I can KNOW that God is real and why He has allowed such sin (abuse, rape, neglect) to be committed against them and within their families.
And the answer that my heart is honestly crying (and trying desperately to communicate effectively) is I. Don't. Know.
I hope and believe that God has a plan--and that it is ultimately for our good and His glory--but communicating that is challenging.
And so I am tempted to cling to trite sayings and phrases, to read "Footprints in the Sand" or to start sentences with the words, "I think that means..."
In my heart I know it is not about what I think, that Scripture is clear that "His ways are not our ways and His thoughts are not our thoughts" and yet, my flesh wants to feel smart. I don't want to disappoint these folks looking to me for wisdom...so the temptation is to reach, to twist and to offer my opinions instead of truth. And that is wrong.
I had been pondering all of this tonight when I came across the following quote.
"If you believe what you like in the gospel, and reject what you don't like, it is not the gospel you believe, but yourself." - Augustine
In our consumer-driven society we have all become far too accustomed to having it our own way. This is not a cafeteria style faith where you pick and choose what 'works for you.' How entirely self absorbed! It begins and ends with God.
"The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom, and knowledge of the Holy One is understanding. For through wisdom your days will be many, and years will be added to your life." Proverbs 9:10-11