S30P4 – The honest prayer: I don’t understand
O Lord , how long will the wicked, how long will the wicked rejoice in triumph? They pour out words, speaking arrogant things; all who do evil boast proudly. They crush Your people, O Lord , and afflict and abuse Your heritage. They kill the widow and the alien and murder the fatherless. Yet they say, “The Lord does not see, nor does the God of Jacob notice it.”
Those who have ever spent time responsible for teaching the word of God to others share the risk of falling into a common trap. When trusted to guide others in the truth, we likely will experience a time during which we feel we must have all the answers. We feel as if we cannot teach others about God and his ways unless we know him completely and are prepared to give the correct answer for every question that comes our way. We can fall into the same trap in our personal journeys of faith and stop asking questions because we think God expects us to just know the answers. When we think this way, we are actually fighting against our spiritual growth. Is it not our lack of complete understanding of God that keeps us seeking to understand and know him further?
David struggled in several of the Psalms to understand how God can allow the wicked to prosper. This is not a question raised only by him in Scripture. Jeremiah also had difficulty coming to terms with the prosperity of those who practiced evil. When these men had these questions, they did not pretend to know the answer. They took these questions to God in prayer and discussion to seek to learn that which they did not understand. We probably would be quick to name David and Jeremiah among great men of God in history. We might even look at them and desire to have the faith that they exhibited. But even these great men of God had questions they could not answer about the one they served. Even they needed to grow closer to and learn more about the Father. While we are in this world and in these bodies, we also will know only in part. This means that, although we know a lot about our Father in heaven, there will be questions we cannot answer.
If we believe that God is infinite and almighty, and if we believe that we are infinitesimal in comparison, then it stands to reason that we do not have the capacity to understand him fully. We must expect to go through life having questions that cause us to seek to know God deeper. We cannot expect to reach a point at which we simply need not learn any more of him. We will not reach that point here. This means that we must admit that we do not have all the answers. For those of us who feel like every question answered creates three new questions, perhaps this is merely how it will be for now. Father, thank You that there is always more for us to learn about You, and thank You for your willingness to let us grow in that knowledge.