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Sunday, February 5, 2012

Satiating The Need For Solutions

It is human nature to find security in solutions. If we know what job we are supposed to hold; which relationships to pursue; what health remedies to take...if we feel confident in the strategies and opportunities presented to us, we feel safe.

Personally, I'm always in pursuit of something. I'm inquisitive but my need for answers sometimes stems from fear. What looks like logic, common sense, healthy pondering or really fear. Fear masks itself as many things. One of its more subtle manifestations is in the fierce pursuit of solutions, whether or not God is involved in the chase.

God has made us curious beings. He has designed us to be seekers of knowledge. But as respected evangelist Leif Hetland said in a meeting at my church last week, "We are a society with much knowledge, but little wisdom." (my paraphrase).

And I wonder if our insatiable desire for knowledge is sometimes a sneaky counterfeit for security in the Lord. Knowledge leads to solutions... which leads to feelings of safety...or so we think.

I have been researching medicine for nearly a decade now, yet the more I learn, the more I realize that I know very little about how to heal the body. Medical knowledge is, in some ways, like a drug to me. Every new discovery infuses me with an emotional high at the promise of what it will bring- to the health of my body and that of others. But when that knowledge doesn't fulfill its illusory promise to heal me or thousands of others, disappointment deluges my soul.

The same can be said for any type of knowledge that we pursue. While sometimes useful, valid, important and intriguing- when we lean on knowledge instead of the One who gives all knowledge, we get into trouble.

This is because pursuing solutions for the sake of security blinds us to the right information that God would have us use for the furtherance of His Kingdom, our well being, and that of others. It also puts our hope in the wrong place- in our intellect, or in God's resources, instead of in Him.

Knowledge is important, but wisdom is better. Wisdom teaches us what to do with what we know, how to apply it, and how to submit it to God's will. Wisdom admonishes us to use knowledge as a tool, not a security blanket, and keeps our hope centered in the proper place-upon Him.

Wisdom enables us to take comfort in the apparent absence of solutions; in the scarcity of immediate answers and knowledge which we believe will get us to where we need to go.

In my life, wisdom admonishes me to trust when I don't know how to cure my insomnia. It teaches me how to sift the valuable medical knowledge that I gather from the chaff, and it shows me how to rest, when God isn't flashing neon signs across my conscience.

Living without solutions- or when the only solution is to be content to have none- is difficult. Yet it is also freeing, because it can teach us to rely upon and submit to God, knowing that the answers will come when, and if, we need them. Often, what we think we need to know, we would be better off without. Society clutters our minds with news, facts, theories, trends, and advertisements that aren't of God, but which we strive to sort from the stuff that God gives us.

I wonder what would happen, for example, if every person in the United States closed their eyes to any text but the Bible for a week? If we agreed to disregard all that we know- "except for Christ Jesus and Him crucified" (1 Cor. 2:2)? Rather than sentence us to a narrow-minded existence, I believe it would open our eyes and ears to gold mines of knowledge- the likes of which we really need.

I confess, as of late, I have been led astray because my faith, and security, has been in solutions. I have believed that my survival depends upon having the right answers, not the right Counselor, who, while silent at times, desires so deeply to provide for me, even when my mind and soul are blank.

Our desperate searching for solutions will not cease unless we choose to trust God with what we don't know- and what we do. Sometimes, I think He allows all solutions to be snatched away from us for a time, for our own good. So that we may learn to rest and have peace in Him, rather than in the need for answers. May He be the only answer we need.

1 comment:

  1. Well said, Connie. That insight is the result of a true soul search. I agree that being content in all situations is a constant learning experience.
    Do you find that just when you think you've made it to that point, that along comes yet another situation that shows you there is yet another step to go deeper in trusting Him? Yet as we take that challenge, we again find that the Shepherd was with us all along....even through the crevices and rough spots.
    Thanks for you blog. Your words encourage many who are on this same path.