Not Knowing Why


As a rule I’m uncomfortable not knowing the whole story. I’m happiest when loose ends are double knotted and when stories have a beginning and an end.

But, of course, I can’t know everything. Most of the time I don’t even understand my own reasons for my actions, so how can I expect to appreciate the mind and motives of another?

I make guesses as to why, but those are more for my own ease than anything else. If I can find a reasonable explanation I can justify almost anything.

This makes me think about grace in a new way. I find it easy to have grace for others when I understand their motives behind questionable actions. But what about when there isn’t an explanation, can I accept that and offer grace anyway?

In order to treat people with the same grace I’ve received it can’t be conditional. “I’ll show you grace if...” or “I’ll show you grace when....” Grace doesn’t work like that.

Can I find a way to be at peace with the discomfort of not knowing everything but choosing to see the best in a person or situation anyway? I have a lot of questions about God, the spiritual realm, and what’s to come after this life. I feel compelled to have some control over my life or at least an explanation for why things do or don’t happen.

In most cases, I feel vulnerable when I don’t understand and can’t see the big picture. And my response to feeling vulnerable often comes from a place of fear and sends me on an emotional tailspin. I find it difficult to trust God is sovereign and has this, as well as all situations, well in hand.

Paul’s words in 1 Corinthians 13:12 have been a great comfort when my mind goes in these types of circles.

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 knows me completely.

This reminds me even if I find every available answer it’s still only a fuzzy half-visible picture. Complete knowledge doesn’t exist here on earth. I’m going to have to learn to live with unanswered questions and choose instead to act with grace and live in faith that one day I will know the whole story.