I Just Don’t Always Know

Yesteray (Maybe I Just Can’t See) I told you the wonderful story of my friend Kelli and her long-term recovery from cancer. I wondered if perhaps Kelli’s ability to not only survive but thrive was a one-degree miracle.

A reader sent a great question: Why did you include “perhaps”? Of course this was a miraculous answer to prayer!

Why “perhaps”? Because I don’t know.

I absolutely believe God answers prayers and always keeps His promises. I know He listens and responds when I share my heart. I believe He causes good to arise from even the most horrific circumstances.

But I don’t claim to know how that works. I’m not certain I can draw a clear cause-effect line from my desires to God’s actions. And I surely can’t categorize when God says YES or NO.

I’ve told this story before.

A pastor in a rural North Dakota church sought God’s help. The farms surrounding his church were struggling through a prolonged dry period. If rain didn’t come soon, an entire year’s crops would be lost.

So the pastor prayed for rain. A few days later it rained. And for the rest of the summer, rain was frequent and plentiful. The farmers harvested record crops, and the pastor thanked God for answering his prayers.

God had been good.

One day as winter approached one of his parishioners appeared in the pastor’s office in great distress. His business was on the brink of failure.

The man ran a large road paving company. The season for this work in North Dakota is relatively short, and excessive rain had prevented him from completing contracted obligations.

Long-time employees who depended on his company for income and benefits were in danger of losing their jobs. Roads would deteriorate over the winter from lack of maintenance, leading to increased taxes for everyone in the county.

As he scrambled for a way to keep his business afloat until the following summer, he asked the pastor to pray for good weather. To avoid disaster, he needed an exceptionally productive season.

One man’s blessing was the other’s disaster. Good … isn’t always as clear as I think.

I’m called to know and become like Jesus. A significant aspect of that journey involves understanding and accepting that God’s thoughts aren’t my thoughts. Same for desires, plans, and perspectives. He’s God. I’m not. I’m glad.

So I find that my conclusions about the short-term circumstances of my life include a lot of “maybe’s.” I know what I know.

I’m okay with what I can’t know.

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Copyright 2008-2012 by Rich Dixon, All Rights Reserved. Used by permission.
Rich is an author and speaker. He is the author of:
Relentless Grace: God’s Invitation To Give Hope Another Chance
. Visit his web site www.relentlessgrace.com

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