The Not Knowing

August 11, 2020 | Jaci Miller

I often begin blog posts with a story. People like stories. They’re fun. We’re built to enjoy stories, which is why Jesus so often spoke in parables. But I try to make sure my story can be understood.

Sometimes Jesus didn’t. Like the parable of the shrewd manager. The master actually commends the manager in Luke 16:8 for, in effect, stealing from him. Huh?

Then Jesus says to use our money in such a way that it gains us friends, so we’ll be welcomed into Heaven. Double huh!?

This advice seems to fly in the face of the gospel — you know, we can only get to Heaven by accepting Jesus. … Is that what this passage is about? Is it about evangelism? Wise stewardship of God-given gifts?

I don’t know because I don’t understand all Jesus taught. Or even why He taught some of it.

Some parables confuse me. Some teachings frustrate me. Even when Jesus explains a parable, sometimes His explanations need an explanation. But as a Christian, I have to learn to be okay with not understanding every time.

I ask. I seek wisdom. Sometimes, God grants clarity and sometimes He doesn’t. In those moments when He doesn’t, I fret and fume and wonder what kind of answer I’m supposed to have ready for those who ask (1 Peter 3:15). Sometimes the most honest answer is simply, “I don’t know.” (Though I have found, when asked, “Why believe at all?” I can answer, “Because what I do understand is worth believing.”)

A God big enough to worship must be a God bigger than my understanding. It only follows then that I will never know all the answers to all the questions this side of Heaven. Scripture says as much. “For now we see only a reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known” (1 Corinthians 13:12). 

I’m not against the pursuit of truth. We’re commanded to seek. But I find a measure of peace in knowing it’s okay to not know.

What Scriptural questions have you wrestled with? When you don’t understand, will you accept the peace of not knowing?