Making space for not knowing

Spiritual insight can hover light as butterfly in the air, fluttering gentle in the breeze, alighting soft on our senses.

Or nudge like a querulous child, becoming ever insistent.

Maybe it sparks bright, a lightning flash of inspiration.

However it strikes us ~ holy whisper or holy fire ~ we do well to pay attention.

Any reading of Scripture yields wisdom and insight as much as it throws curve balls.

We put on Holy Spirit lenses to help us focus on the meaning, application and practical outworking.

“What do we do with all the hard/weird stuff in the Bible?”  is the question being pondered over at Diana’s place this week. Do we ignore, refuse to ‘go there’, puzzle, pause, pray, or something else?

Some of how we answer it depends on our faith roots. I began my faith journey in a happy-clappy Pentecostal church, drifted into Baptist, kept a foot in Anglican, and spent many years in Independent Evangelical.

Over time, my ‘bible-thumping-in-your-face-are-you-saved?‘ days gave way to deeper reflection and grace. Made space for the ‘not knowing’ aspects of faith.

Now I am leaning toward the Contemplative and finding church is everywhere (TV and internet)  and nowhere in particular for me when housebound by M.E.

And in the letting go of fixed ideas, hungering after authenticity wherever I can find it, I find myself in a position of simply wanting to let go of too much concern about all I don’t understand.

The Bible is God’s great narrative, His story to draw us into relationship with Him ~ the whole purpose of it all.

The essence of Christian faith is faith in a Person ~ Father, Son and Holy Spirit. And people are complicated. So why shouldn’t God be even more so in the way He operates?

We can only move forward in faith, trudge wary of the weird stuff, trusting Him to reveal all He desires us to know in His own timing.

‘Trudge wary’

I tread timid, blind, in need of a Guide

I trudge wary, uncertain ~ with You by my side

And if You should choose to keep things concealed

it makes me appreciate all that’s revealed

There are treasures hidden in darkness deep

to be mined by those with eyes to seek

Challenge and certainty, joy and adversity

all wrapped up in Your word ~ to loose, set free

There are areas that puzzle, confuse and stretch our minds

and others of the straightforward, simple kind

For I still can barely comprehend

Your mercy and grace, love without end

So why should I, with great temerity,

expect You to reveal all things to me?

Should I not make room, give space

for the protective nature of Your grace

Allow for Your Spirit to open my eyes

in a gradual way ~ day after day

Knowing I can only handle so much

surprise, information, knowledge, as such?


God is always speaking. He is never silent. Sometimes we cannot hear Him above the chaos of the world or the noise of our own thoughts. Time taken to listen attentively is never time wasted. Much can be gained in the Quiet Place.

In essence:Although I’ll continue to wonder, ponder, question and seek answers, I also choose to rest easy in God’s great sovereignty. He alone knows how to encourage open-hearted investigation while making sure we receive all that is necessary for us to trust and believe and live well for Him.

 Joining here with friends:Diana, Mel and Lyli

19 thoughts on “Making space for not knowing

  1. Love that poetic end! But, truly, I resonate with your post, Joy. Wow, just yes…it is a great graduation perhaps when we actually allow the not knowing aspects of God, breathe grace , peace and balance into our perspective. I so remember my in your face days, and how God has transformed me, balancing my zeal with sensitivity…Great post, my friend.

    • Dawn, I am still a beginner on this journey into God’s heart. It seems the longer my walk of faith, the less I feel I know. There is always so much more waiting to be discovered! And there are shades of knowledge ~ some purely theoretical and others purely experiential, with everything in-between. To learn how to “balance my zeal with sensitivity” is a gift of grace I am also thankful for. So good to have your company on this journey of discovery, my friend! Blessings 🙂 x

  2. It is God’s intention that we keep on learning throughout our life. Like you I have been in different churches–beginning with a fundamental Finnish Lutheran Church, married in the Reformed Church, some time in a Baptist Church and now an Evangelical Church. I have learned from each. And with my daughter I have learned some things from the Catholic Church. Your poem expresses the truth of our walk. I am visiting from Essential Fridays.

    • Yes, I wholeheartedly agree with you, Carol. We are lifelong learners during our sojourn here on earth. And each holy space and place that impacts our walk with God leaves a trace on us. We carry away the particular savour, emphasis and flavour from varying denominations, even as we find ourselves slightly detached from them all. I am blessed by your visit and sharing of insights. Thank you! 🙂

  3. This is so true: “We can only move forward in faith, trudge wary of the weird stuff, trusting Him to reveal all He desires us to know in His own timing.” Reminds me of God’s counsel in Ephesians 5:12 “It is shameful even to mention what the disobedient do in secret.”

    • Thanks very much, Carol, for your kind affirmation. It can be quite a challenge to rest in God’s sovereignty at times, can’t it? We are apt to be such impatient pilgrims, always wanting to see round the next bend in the road. Bless you, my friend, for joining in the discussion here. You are such a blessing and encouragement to me!

  4. Joy, it’s wonderful how God gives us so many parts of the Body of Christ to identify with and connect! Thanks for showing this diversity and yet oneness in the church. I’ve had a similar journey and am blessed to have gained something unique from each denomination. I pray that other members of our Christian Poets & Writers group on Facebook will see this and reconnect with the Body as they’re able, so I’ll highlight this on the blog – .

    • Mary, it’s so true that our walk of faith can be enriched by varied experience. I echo your thoughts about being “blessed to have gained something unique from each denomination.” Thank you so much for not only understanding the gist of this post but also highlighting it on the Christian Poets and Writers blog. I am truly honoured, blessed and encouraged! 🙂

  5. Joy, I really love this! From your first, beautiful description of the different ways God speaks to us to the end of this post, you encourage me to rest in the beauty of God’s wise ways with us.

    • Thank you, Elena! I am so pleased it spoke to you, my friend. And if these words have succeeded in enouraging you “to rest in the beauty of God’s ways with us” then that is pure gift from the Father’s hands. Blessings 🙂 x

  6. Beautiful thought-provoking post. Thanks for sharing at Essential Fridays.
    Mel from Essential Thing Devotions

  7. Masterful job, Joy. You answered this question much better than I did, actually! Love the ‘lenses,’ love the poem, love the sense of peace I sense, the choice to rest in the unknowing and trust. Thanks so much!

    • Diana, you are too kind! I’m delighted this spoke to you in the ways you have shared and really appreciate your lovely insight into this post. It seems we are all blessed and encouraged by the things others have written. Truly the body of Christ working together as a whole. I always come away with those feelings whenever I read your work! Blessings, friend. 🙂

  8. Pingback: Q & A: Tuesday Wrap-Up: Week Eight

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