Acknowledging My Limitations
“Much dreaming and many words are meaningless. Therefore fear God.” Ecclesiates 5:7
“…then I saw all that God has done. No one can comprehend what goes on under the sun. Despite all their efforts to search it out, no one can discover its meaning. Even if the wise claim they know, they cannot really comprehend it.” Ecclesiates 8:17
In reading the Bible I often love to find the perfect answer to address the present issue, whatever that might be. I think it is connected to my desire to see each problem addressed with an appropriate solution. But I am reminded again and again how limited my resources, insight and answers are relative to the complexity of the problems I face daily. I am coming to realize that wisdom is not manifested only in finding right answers, but in recognizing with humility that it may not be my role to provide answers for everything. In fact there may be wisdom in allowing others to discover themselves the appropriate, God given answer.
It is difficult for me to allow others to find their own answer when I can at times feel so sure I know exactly what they need. There is a potential arrogance that accompanies this perceived insight into the lives of others. It is also difficult to admit that my insight and answer might not be needed or invited. Too often in the course of conversation I am attempting to share answers and insights God meant more for my transformation than he did for the purpose of solving other peoples problems.
Therefore, possibly the wisdom from God includes, or at least should include, the humility to say, “I don’t know.” Every time I say this I’m faced with the revelation of my own finite humanity. Every time I say this my own deficiencies seem exposed. And every time I say this I am faced with my own need to be needed. But also when I say this I provide the space and opportunity for God to speak His wisdom personally into each circumstance. In so doing the wisest thing offered is a further call to watch for God and trust Him. I find as I read the writers of Scripture that ultimately they are calling me less to depend on answers about God than they are to depend on God. In my efforts to seek wisdom my motives at times can be to accumulate the right answers for every situation. God becomes less significant to the process of life if I have all my answers neatly formulated and catalogued.
Christian spirituality and life are based not on the accumulation of answers but on faith in God’s presence, goodness and power. My faith in Jesus is not just that He provides wisdom about life, but that He is wisdom and life. Therefore each time I humbly admit that the problems of life exceed the limits of my accumulated wisdom about life I have the potential opportunity to point to God, His very being, as that which is ultimately sustaining.
I still believe that seeking wisdom from God is essential to the journey of faith, but when all is said and done the wisdom from God should lead me back to God. The wisdom from God should cause me to connect to God more and not disconnect once I have received the answer or wisdom I was seeking.
When you, like me, find yourself faced with the confusing and often disconcerting circumstances of life, may you seek the wisdom of God that leads you into the place of greater dependence upon God as He walks with you. May the wisdom from God cause you to love and trust the one who faithfully accompanies you.
Here is some music to encourage your further reflection on the limitless love God has for you and me despite our incredible limitations.