“For my thoughts are not your thoughts,
neither are your ways my ways,”
declares the Lord.
“As the heavens are higher than the earth,
so are my ways higher than your ways
and my thoughts than your thoughts. Isaiah 55:8-9
How easily that sentence can roll off my tongue these days- “I don’t know”. You see, the truth is the secret to wisdom is to recognize that there is so very much that we do not know. We go through life accumulating a fund of knowledge- facts, experiences, even wisdom- yet there is an amazing amount we do not know.
Sometimes religion would offer to people the idea that we can have knowledge of God and understanding of his plans. I think that such an idea is hubris at its worst. There is so much about God that we do not know, and can never know, and it is the height of pride to pretend that we can.
Job and his friends tried to understand why Job was suffering, and they used all the knowledge that they had to figure out the puzzle of human suffering. In the end God told them that essentially, He is the author and creator of life, and that their job was not to understand his ways, but to trust his ways.
Isn’t that the truth that we try to tell our young children? They do not understand why we give them certain directions and guidance, but we do it for their good. They were too young to understand the reasons for our decisions, they just needed to trust us as loving parents.
I think that is how it is with God too. We cannot see the full picture of his master plans. We try to understand because we are curious and are made to seek understanding and knowledge. But God’s plans are bigger than our minds can understand fully. Our job is to trust him, knowing that he has our best interest at stake.
“I don’t know” is a perfectly fine phrase to say. It is especially good if we can follow it by saying, “but I trust Him”.
Prayer: Lord, we do not always understand your ways, but help us to trust them more and more, Amen.