Tuesday, March 26, 2013

When You Just Don't Know

My husband has been known to tease me with the observation that I am "never more confident than when absolutely wrong."

I might be offended if it weren't so often true. I am passionate, communicative and fallible.

Lately I find myself in a place of realizing just how much of life is not as simple and straightforward as my idealistic, younger, less experienced self once thought.

As I age (and hopefully mature) I find that really listening to people with grace and love, while remaining anchored to Truth is a delicate balance. It means I don't always have an answer right off the cuff...especially in the matters of most importance.

I am learning that walking away to think and pray requires more self control and maturity than simply responding emotionally in a knee jerk fashion. Sitting quietly in the moment when circumstances don't make sense, while personally uncomfortable, is often the most sensible and sensitive thing to do.

I am realizing that the most honest answer I can often give is that I just don't know--and it is hard. I am wired for understanding, for lessons, for a overarching theme to this life that good conquers evil and right always prevails over wrong. But sometimes in the fog of a situation, wisdom requires prayerful silence on an issue.

On a phone call late Sunday night, I could sense that my lack of a zealous answer disappointed the person on the other line. It was so tempting to fill the silence in order to win their approval.

I am learning that taking a step back from complicated issues doesn't automatically make me weak or foolish. With the right heart motive, it can instead be an indicator of relying on a strength beyond my own for wisdom. I am stumbling as I learn to walk, learning to consult my God a bit more rather than simply my feelings.

I have a steadfast faith that in the scheme of eternity God is definitely at work in this world. There is a large, grand story, but this Holy Week is a poignant reminder that it often fails to make sense in the immediate term. I keep thinking about the followers of Jesus and how confusing the week of His capture and crucifixion must have seemed. We know how the story ends, but how would it have felt to live it--likely much like it feels to live our lives in this broken world.

Snapshots in time can defy our human sensibilities--God's grand plan is unveiled little by little. This is why it is called faith.

I am reminded that it won't always make sense to the people around us who are watching and waiting for our response to trials--but it will bring peace.

Lord, I don't know what to do. My thoughts and feelings are confusing at times. I pray for the strength and courage to be still even when others seem to be demanding my response. I ask for wisdom and perspective that only You can give. You not only have the answers, You ARE the answer. Help me not to trust in my own volatile thoughts and feelings, but in faithful, unchanging You.

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