I love to learn. The process of asking questions and finding answers exhilarates me. However, the speculation surrounding the pandemic paired with constant outrage from every side has been the catalyst for overwhelming societal confusion. Personally, one lesson has been louder than all the others—get comfortable with mystery.
Make conclusions, and walk in wisdom, but do not attempt to know it all. I cannot explain why people do the things they do; I will not understand how people cross certain lines; I struggle with why God allows it.
The mysteries of life should be commonplace for humanity. They are present in my story and the stories of every soul. As much as we try, we fail at predicting what tomorrow will bring. There will always be secrets hidden in tomorrow. I choose to stop fighting chaos, and instead, enjoy the precious, sacred space where mystery lives and hope flourishes.
Let’s learn to rest in, and wrestle with, mystery, crossing paths with the basic and bizarre. When the unknown begins to feel threatening, when comfort begs to take the place of God, let’s choose to move forward—to engage instead of flee. May we take the next step and wander into wonder, questions and all.
In journeying through these towering realities, I am met with the tension of believing in what I cannot see; this is part of being a believer. Even the men who walked with Jesus, his very own disciples, felt it. Thomas demanded to see Jesus’ scars before he would believe that his greatest hope, the resurrection of his friend and Savior, was true. Jesus appeared to him and said, “Have you believed because you have seen me? Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.” (John 20:29)
There is a true, powerful, and loving God who wants a relationship with me, but that doesn’t keep me from trying to take his place. If God was bound by my limits and held no mystery, these truths would disappear and I wouldn’t be able to trust Him.
I have found that just when I think that I have fully grasped a concept of God, He soon leads me to a place where He reveals there is so much more. I must go further. I must look up and walk in the faith that assures me of things hoped for and brings conviction about things not seen. Here in the unknowns where I wander, breathe, and exist, can I accept the invitation to be still and know that He is God?
I want to find the blessing of standing on ground I cannot see, to take this reality and boldly tread into the tension of what is seen and unseen. I am determined to take steps toward the kingdom here and now. Peace, joy, and comfort beckon me. To follow means stepping into the messiness of life because perfection, relief from all darkness, and hope fully realized are yet to come.
When I look into the big blue eyes of a beautiful baby boy who has smiles for each new face he encounters, and a few days later he slips behind the holy curtain to meet Jesus face to face, I have questions.
When I see the horrors of war torn nations where wickedness rises to power, I have questions.
When people spew hate and lash out at others because of the color of their skin, I have questions.
When plagues descend, I have questions.
A.J. Swoboda encourages us to, “Never stop asking questions. The questions are good! But we should stop thinking that our questions can bring about a different God. Repentance is waking up to the fact that we don’t get to love the God we want. True worship is loving the God who is,”
Thankfully, I serve a God who is not afraid of my relentless inquisition, but I must find the courage to make the trek to trust Him whether He answers my inquiries or not. For on the other side of my questions stands Jesus with all the answers in glorious mystery.
So I’ll wander here, in the mysteries for which my own logic fails me. Where the desperate condition of the world, my deepest longings, and my greatest hopes meet and are placed into the hands of a King. Here in the wonder of beautiful terror is holy protection and true life. By resting in His story, by knowing a good, merciful, and just God writes, I can feel the presence of peace in the in-between spaces that have no words.
Chara Donahue enjoys freelance writing, biblical counseling, and speaking to women when her four kids are out playing with dad. She is an adjunct professor, holds an MSEd, and is passionate about seeing people set free through God’s truths. She is the host of the podcast The Bible Never Said That and a regular contributor at iBelieve. Her words have appeared at Christianity Today, Crosswalk, (in)courage, and The Huffington Post. She longs to be a voice that says, “Hey we are in this together, and there is room for us all.” You can find more from Chara on Facebook and Twitter.