When We have More Questions than Answers

24 Apr

immutable

As I write these words, it’s Friday afternoon and another Sunday is approaching.  The seventh consecutive Sunday that the church I serve will not meet in person for worship. It’s hard to comprehend.  While talking to a pastor friend of mine this week, I joked that I keep waiting to wake up one morning and find out that the last six weeks have all been a season of “The Twilight Zone” and find that everything is reset back to February.  Not happening. All of this is very, very real.

As the leader of a local church, I have lots of questions.  When will we be able to gather again for worship on Sunday morning?  What on earth will that need to look like when we do?  What percentage of our people will even be comfortable coming anyway?  How do we keep people connected, growing spiritually, and feeling part of the church over an extended period of time when many will not be able to meet with us in person?  What can we do about Vacation Bible School this summer?   How badly will the economic devastation of the last few weeks affect our families long term?   What about planning for the Fall at church when school starts back?  Will school start back in August?   How will this affect our church long term?

Those are the questions in my corner of the world.  I have precious few answers.  OK, I have NO answers right now.

You may be reading this blog and your mind is filled with other questions – some weightier than the questions on my mind.  What will I do now that I have lost my job?  How long will I have a job?  Will my senior in high school be able to start college in August?  Will our wedding need to be postponed?  I was planning to retire this year, but can I afford to now?   How long will it be until I can hug my elderly parent?   We have a vacation planned in July, should we cancel it?  On and on and on it goes.  Question after question. Precious few, if any, answers.

What do we do when we have more questions than answers?  

What do we do when we have NO answers? 

In the interest of transparency, I have wrestled with those questions in my own heart lately.  Maybe more so than at any time in my life and ministry there are more questions with little to no answers.  Unfortunately, this is likely true for every reader of this blog. One aspect that has made all of this so disconcerting is the swiftness with which it came upon us.  On March 1st everything was rocking along pretty good and then with breathtaking speed, the whole country shut down, tens of thousands of people died, over 20 million people lost their jobs, and no one has any firm answers about anything.  EVERYTHING HAS CHANGED AND THERE ARE NO ANSWERS RIGHT NOW. As I wrestled with these issues in my own heart, one of the great truths of scripture echoed in my mind over and over again….

The IMMUTABILITY of God.

It is one of the most comforting attributes of God.  He doesn’t change. Nothing changes Him. This truth is taught over and over in scripture….

“Of old you laid the foundation of the earth, and the heavens are the work of your hands. They will perish, but you will remain; they will all wear out like a garment. You will change them like a robe, and they will pass away, but you are the same, and your years have no end.” (Psalm 102:25–27, ESV)

““For I the LORD do not change; therefore you, O children of Jacob, are not consumed.” (Malachi 3:6, ESV)

“Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow due to change.” (James 1:17, ESV)

In his classic systematic theology textbooks, Dr. Wayne Grudem quotes another theologian on this subject….

The doctrine of God’s immutability is of the highest significance for religion. The contrast between being and becoming marks the difference between the Creator and the creature. Every creature is continually becoming. It is changeable, constantly striving, seeks rest and satisfaction, and finds this rest in God, in him alone, for only he is pure being and no becoming. Hence, in Scripture God is often called the Rock.…

Grudem, W. A. (2004). Systematic theology: an introduction to biblical doctrine (p. 164). Leicester, England; Grand Rapids, MI: Inter-Varsity Press; Zondervan Pub. House.

“Hence, in Scripture God is often called the Rock….”   Think about that truth.

What do we do when we have more questions than answers?  

What do we do when we have NO answers? 

WE STAND ON THE UNCHANGING ROCK OF OUR SALVATION AND TRUST HIM UNTIL THE WAY BECOMES MORE CLEAR.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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