I’ve always been a questioner. I want to know the whys and wherefores…all the reasons behind why something is done the way it is done or has happened the way it has happened. Don’t just tell me something is the way it is, tell me why.
This has not endeared me to some people.
It’s also been a problem for me at times. When something crazy has happened in my life or someone has hurt me, I’ve wanted to know why. And sometimes there just aren’t any answers to these questions.
I may never know why my former spouse treated me the way he did. I may never know why a close friendship changed seemingly overnight. I may never know the purpose behind other hurts and losses in this life. That’s hard for a questioner like me.
Continuing to learn to live with an open heart, I’m challenged by Mary DeMuth‘s book, The Wall Around Your Heart and this week’s chapter on defying bitterness. As Jesus prayed for our sins to be forgiven, just as we have forgiven those who sin against us, we often struggle to forgive. It seems easier to wallow, to question, and to descend into bitterness.
In this chapter Mary offers us nine surprising insights into forgiveness. And wouldn’t you know that one of those nine things is this: Forgiveness Doesn’t Answer Every Question.
Seriously though, I’ve sometimes found it hard to forgive because of my question habit. It seems like it would be easier to forgive if I knew the motivation behind others’ actions or if I knew that they were sorry and wanted to be forgiven. Mary says she was able to reconcile the need to know why by fasting from asking the question. If we trust that God is in everything He allows to touch our lives, then we can trust His goodness, His redemption, and His plan. Mary asks,
What good can come from suffering? For that I return to Job, who lost everything–his children, his livelihood, his health, his will to live. He heard God at the end: ‘I had only heard about you before, but now I have seen you with my own eyes.’ (Job 42:5)
That’s what I want. To see God.The Wall Around Your Heart, p. 170
That’s what I want too – to see God. So I’ll make a better effort to not question. I’ll accept that some questions won’t ever have answers on this side. I’ll choose to forgive and defy bitterness.
Seeing God will be more than worth it.
Join the Openhearted Revolution today!
The Wall Around Your Heart released on October 15. You can read the intro and order your copy here.
Read my other posts in this series here.