I Don’t Know….

Caleb

I don’t know all the answers.

I know that doesn’t surprise those of you that know me. I am a life long learner and I love to ask questions.

(much to the annoyance of my husband, our son, and I am sure, my three sons-in-law)

They don’t like it when I ask questions during ball games. How else am I going to learn the intricacies of the game? I just want to know why the football coach threw down his clipboard or why the baseball umpire ejected the coach. Ok, so I am more interested in the personal interactions of the coaches, players, and officials than the game itself, but I am watching.

We all learn by asking questions. Children go though stages when they ask many more questions than at other times. We get weary of answering, but that is how we as humans learn.

We are much more likely to remember information that we inquired about than if we are just fed facts. Our brains are “wired” to process immense amounts of information, yet MEMORY is tied to connecting information according to usefulness. Our brains are amazing at sorting.

That is why it is SO IMPORTANT to answer our children’s questions. If they ask a question – they want an answer. If we don’t answer their questions, they will begin to find others who will. Those may not be the people who will give our children good or correct answers. Peers are a ready source of information – some positive, some questionable, and some down right negative.

Be the adult who answers questions.

But what about when we don’t know?

Some possible responses are:

  • Be honest. I am highly suspect of anyone who knows it all – even if they do listen to NPR.
  • “I don’t know, but I will help you find out.” This allows our children to see where we look for answers ourselves.
  • “Let’s call and ask…..” Let your child see that there are others you recognize as an expert in a certain area.
  • “I don’t know for sure, and people I respect think differently about this.” (questions about heaven, Jesus’ return, etc.)
  • Google it. (be careful – do this together with your child)

God knows that we don’t know it all. If fact, James gives us advice about what to do in James 1:5-6

5 If you need wisdom, ask our generous God, and he will give it to you. He will not rebuke you for asking. 6 But when you ask him, be sure that your faith is in God alone. Do not waver, for a person with divided loyalty is as unsettled as a wave of the sea that is blown and tossed by the wind.

We are encouraged to ask God, and ask with faith that He will answer. Yet, sometimes we know that God waits to respond or chooses to keep silent in certain areas for our good. We do this as parents or grandparents, don’t we. We don’t tell our small children that we are taking them to Tweetsie next week because they will find it difficult to wait, or to do what they need to do today.

God also tells us that we don’t know everything, nor will we until we meet God face to face.

1 Corinthians 13:11 (NLT)

11 When I was a child, I spoke and thought and reasoned as a child. But when I grew up, I put away childish things. 12 Now we see things imperfectly, like puzzling reflections in a mirror, but then we will see everything with perfect clarity. All that I know now is partial and incomplete, but then I will know everything completely, just as God now knows me completely.

What a wonderful promise!!! God is so awesome and His plans for us are beyond our human comprehension.

One day we will know it all – with perfect clarity. We can share that with our children and grandchildren.

I will never forget  – because it was one of those moments seared in my memory – Elizabeth Elliot speaking to 10,000 college students at Urbana in 1973 sharing the following –

I don’t know … but I know the One who does.”

 

We Are Suffering

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26 If one part [of the Body of Christ] suffers, every part suffers with it;”            I Cor. 12:2

Families are suffering in Charleston, South Carolina – they are our brothers and sisters in Christ – therefore we are suffering.

I couldn’t help think of the children of the pastor whose father is now no longer with them. It is Father’s Day, a tragic reminder of all they have lost. Others murdered were also fathers.

They were at church praying, just where many thousands of Christians throughout our country are on Wednesday night – praying. It hurt so much to think of this evil act being carried out in a place where God is worshipped and His love is shared.

I was reading yesterday in a journal my Grandmother Barker, my father’s mother kept. After a tragedy occurred during Woodrow Wilson’s presidency, Grandma quoted him as asking that these verses be read to him.  II Corinthians 4: 6-9 (NKJV)

6 For it is the God who commanded light to shine out of darkness, who has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.

7 But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellence of the power may be of God and not of us.

8 We are hard-pressed on every side, yet not crushed;

   we are perplexed, but not in despair;  

persecuted, but not forsaken;

   struck down, but not destroyed;

I have heard many of the family members and friends of those murdered speak of forgiveness in this time of horrific pain and loss. What a testimony of God’s amazing grace!

As the Body of Christ we MUST step up our efforts to battle the forces of evil that foster hatred.

It starts in our homes as we express acceptance and love for all people, especially those who may be different from us. Hatred is a learned attitude. When our homes are places of love and acceptance – our children will learn to treat others with respect.

Sing this simple, yet profound chorus with your children and talk about what it means –

” Jesus loves the little children

ALL the children of the world

Red, brown, yellow, black, and white

They are precious in His sight

Jesus loves the little children of the world.”

Hatred can not exist in our hearts if God’s love is present. Now is the time to plant those seeds of love and respect in the hearts of our children and grandchildren.

We must keep those suffering in Charleston in our prayers.

We are all suffering – but love wins in the end.

 

 

Why? – again.

"Why is Jackson Simmons so tall?"

“Why is Jackson Simmons so tall?”

We had visitors this weekend – the Hardy boys. There was a recurring theme throughout the visit.

“Why?”

I looked back in the archives and found this post from April, 2012.

“Why?”

At that time, the oldest Hardy boy was 3 – now the youngest is almost 3, and the twins are 4. When they were questioning their mother about directions she had given them – like “it’s time to get ready for bed” or “eat the rest of your beans before you get more grapes” she kept reminding them that she was their mother – they needed to obey.

Even thought their mother is very attentive to their questions about why things work, or why animals do certain things, or why it is important to be careful around other people’s dogs, etc. – she wants the boys to obey her even when they don’t understand “why?”.

Their mother wants them to TRUST her because she loves them and has their best interest at heart. She is asking them to obey for their own good.

Isn’t that what God requires of us? We don’t always understand what God is allowing to happen in our lives. We want to ask “why?” and perhaps we do ask “why?” – but we may not get an answer.

Just like an earthly parent – God wants us to TRUST Him because He loves us and has our best interest at heart. God is asking us to obey for our own good.

The earlier post went on to say –

“The 3-year-old is in that stage of asking “Why?” in response to all requests, comments, and random statements. At first, it is engaging to answer the “whys” of life. “Why?” do we wear socks with shoes? To prevent blisters. “Why?” is it nap time? This question has various answers – it is time, you are tired, mom is tired, or any other response deemed appropriate at the time. “Why?” when told to stay in his bed, because there is not room in the crib with your twin brothers.

After answering hundreds of questions, Nana does get tired of thinking about the answers to the meaning of life and all it involves. Yet, as a teacher, I know that these questions and answers are important and will form the basis of our grandson’s world view. Recent research in brain development shows that at around three years old there is a great growth in synapses in the brain, and that if they are not used during this formative time, those synapses are pruned. Just as a gardener prunes off useless branches, God has fashioned our brain to do likewise.

God does not always answer us right away. God is not governed by our time-table or our sense of “needing to know”. In fact, He says in I Corinthians 13: 8-13

8 Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away. 9 For we know in part and we prophesy in part, 10 but when completeness comes, what is in part disappears. 11 When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put the ways of childhood behind me. 12 For now we see only a reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known. 13 And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.

God lets us know that while we are part of this human experience, we will not understand everything. (see italicized above) We do have the hope of coming into full knowledge when we are face to face with God.

What an awesome expectation!

So, until then, I will continue answering some of my grandchildren’s questions. I will also endeavor to share with them that sometimes there is no answer for “why?”. We must learn to TRUST with patience and love…..for the greatest of these is love.