It's okay not knowing

As much as I like to think that I know a lot of things, it doesn't take much to make me realize that I don't really know a whole lot. This morning I wanted to roast a new batch of coffee but I realized pretty quickly that it wasn't going to happen. My roaster, which I've had for many years and has served me well through hundreds if not thousands of pounds of coffee, decided that it no longer wanted to rotate the beans, which means that there was no way to evenly roast them. The beans sitting at the bottom of the roasting cage would get scorched while the beans on top would stay raw since they had no exposure to the heating source.

Since I am literal "whiz" with fixing things (sarcasm), I began to investigate why my roaster no longer would work. It took me about 2 minutes to realize that there were some serious internal mechanical issues going on that I had not the faintest clue how to resolve. There are some things I do know how to do - things like change the oil and brakes on my car and basic repair and maintenance around my home - yet if the timing belt shredded on my car or my HVAC unit blew up, I would have to immediately admit defeat and call in a professional.

In Matthew 24 and 25 there is recorded a long series of messages from Jesus to His disciples that is known as the Olivet Discourse. In this time of teaching, Jesus imparted huge amounts of truth to these disciples who would in turn be the catalysts for the growth and expansion of the church worldwide. In His message, Jesus addresses the issue of the end times, and there has been lots of debate and discussion throughout the centuries as to exactly what He meant by His words. Was he referring to a rapture and future tribulation or a more current struggle that His people would face or both? When was He going to return and which return was He referring to, what many believers consider a rapture of believers or was He referencing His final return where He would defeat Satan once and for all? Are these even the right questions to ask?

Jesus chose to answer all of these questions rather simply: "You don't know what day your Lord is coming." (Matthew 24:42) There are just some things in life that we don't, can't, and won't know. We can try to figure things out and we can diagram elaborate charts of the end times and even use mathematical equations to pinpoint when we believe the end will occur, but ultimately we don't have a clue. And that's okay.

What if we did know everything that we thought we needed to know? That would come in handy when it came to fixing our cars and repairing things around the house. But what would that say about our faith? If we knew the exact timing and circumstances of God's master plan, would that be good or bad for us? If I record a ball game that I can't watch live then I don't want to hear anything about the final score before I watch the recording because, if I know how the game ends, then there is no more joy or anticipation in watching the events unfold.

With God, this is even bigger. If we knew "the times and the seasons" exactly, then that would most certainly take our eyes off of Him and put them squarely on ourselves and what we need to do or stop doing before it's took late. We do enough of that already! Yet not knowing is a good thing. Faith is faith because it transfers trust away from our devices and agenda to that of utter dependence upon God.

There are and will continue to be lots of areas that will remain in the realm of the unknown when it comes to spiritual matters. We worship with a certain style and methodology, yet we don't truly know exactly how the earthly church should operate. We interpret the Scriptures and study doctrine as faithfully as we can, yet we won't truly know the full impetus of God's truth until we are with Him in glory. Yet we still strive for holiness and we crave Jesus all the more because we know for certain that, when we do those things, we are constantly in the will of God.

And that's okay. That's really okay.


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