We american evangelicals, with our rationalist, Enlightenment roots like to have answers to the big questions of life. We especially like the thought that we might have better answers and more answers than everyone else. It makes us feel special.
But we don’t have all the answers and sometimes the things we like to toss around in our exclusive huddles aren’t the answers people need or want. (and I think it’s very possible we’ve interpreted some wrong answers into being…) Sometimes our answers based on one Bible verse or another, or preacher, or book or Sunday School teacher can easily be contradicted by another verse, preacher, teacher or life experience. And so in the face of some of life’s most senseless circumstances we are left dumbfounded like everyone else. For some this is depressing and feels hopeless.
But I wonder if God doesn’t want us to be speechless and without answers sometimes; because that is when we finally give up and stop trying to pacify our psyche with our own smarts. Maybe saying, “It’s a mystery – and I don’t know” is an act of faith God wants us to try more often. Maybe He made the Bible contradictory on purpose so we wouldn’t fall into the trap of claiming its suggestions as our own bright ideas. Maybe embracing mystery is one way of being faithful to Him?