I've been thinking a lot lately about the unknown. It truly does carry a bad reputation. It's a well documented and discussed fact that the unknown makes us quite uncomfortable. Whether it is an unknown city, an unknown person, an unknown culture, or an unknown shadow protruding from your bedroom closet, there is a certain unsettling which stirs in our gut as we try to ascribe meaning and familiarity to our physical, mental, or emotional surroundings.
Everything needs to make sense.
It drives our desire to find meaning in suffering. "Everything happens for a reason," we quip. I don't agree. Sometimes things just happen. Nobody ever stubbed their toe on the corner of their bedpost and immediately thought, "What is the existential admonition this momentary plight has taught me?" No, we try our best not to burst out in foul language and we scourge our clumsiness.
Yet we empower the unknown to make choices. We assign the unknown credit for our losses and misfortunes.
We even allow the unknown to rob us of our faith.
But the unknown is no more responsible for a person abandoning their faith than the bed for causing our stubbed toe. The unknown is not an entity. It is not a person. It is not anything at all. It is simply the land in which we live where the light of revelation has yet to touch.
When the unknown creeps around the corner we fall back into our old ways, not because they were better, simply because they are known. The unknown is so terrifying in its mystery that a person would choose assured abuse over potential progress. Certain suffering over promised passage. Seclusion over sanctuary.
We blame the unknown, but we are really blaming the Unknown. Yes, I typed that correctly. We live in fear of WHAT may come because we've lost trust in WHO has come. Intimacy with Holy Spirit will breed boldness amidst uncertainty. Intimacy with the world will breed doubt despite promise. We blame the unknown because we never truly knew Him. He who desires to be known.
We turn our backs on God because He has not made us all-knowing. In our heart of hearts we feel it's not fair to not know.
It's the serpent and Eden all over again. Every day. Just repackaged and delivered through shiny phones and glimmering lights. "The unknown must be bad", we think. And this may be true. But even worse is not knowing Him who so desperately wants to be known, using that lack of knowledge to know Him less. It's doubting that His reservation is actually for our betterment.
If only we grew certain in the reality that by knowing Him we need not fear the unknown. Knowing Him means the unknown is not a threat, but a mystery waiting to be revealed at just the right time.
Ah, time. He stands outside of time.
Painful as it may be, our revelation may not come in the time we have on earth. It may be too great a revelation, spanning generations to come which we may not live to see. Not knowing doesn't mean we don't trust. It means we lean harder into what we have known. What we have learned. What He has revealed.
HE IS KIND.
HE IS OUR COMFORTER.
HE SEES OUR TEARS.
HE HEARS OUR CRIES.
HE IS CONCERNED FOR OUR SUFFERING.
HE LOVES US WITHOUT RESTRAINT.
HE IS JEALOUS FOR US.
HE WANTS A RELATIONSHIP WITH US.
HE IS PEACE.
HE CALMS STORMS.
HE RAISES TO LIFE.
HE BREAKS STRONGHOLDS.
HE IS THE WAY, THE TRUTH, AND THE LIFE.
HE DIED FOR US.
And so much more.
Whether in Him or in the world, you will never know all things. The unknown will ALWAYS exist.
I implore you to KNOW HIM. In Him is hope, and hope is the soil in which faith grows the best. It is enveloped with assurance, not in WHAT is known, but in WHO is known. (Hebrews 11.1).
If you refuse to live a life where the unknown exists, just stay in bed. You won't stub your toe. Truly, you won't do anything at all.