why can’t i know?

Category : God, bible, different, faith, miracles, trust


We all want certainty.  We all want absolute answers.  Turn on the television and you’ll see shows like CSI or Monk, offering us “what happened” in a neat, 60-minute, package.  Science and math also push us, promising complete understanding of the universe’s natural wonders. 

But as humans there is only so much we can know.  We don’t always have the luxury of using numbers and scientific study to address our problems.  Sometimes we face choices where we can only guess at the right answer.  And until someone builds a time machine, or rides shotgun with Dr. Who, it will always be that way.

No matter how much we pray, and I do believe God answers prayers, there will still be room for uncertainty.  No matter how many archeological digs there are, or studies of the original Biblical texts, we will not know if Arminianism or Calvinism is truly correct.

Part of this is simply because God is less concerned with us knowing who, what, when, where and how as much as he wants us to know why.  God’s emphasis for our lives is learning why we do what we do.  He wants us to know why we follow him.  Which is the reason he asks us to let him worry about the rest of the details.

Of course that’s always easier said than done.  As I mentioned we’re buffeted day-in and day-out by promises of knowing for sure.  I think this even explains why UFO conspiracies are so popular.  We’ve convinced ourselves that someone must know, and they just aren’t talking.  If only we can push the right people to talk, then we’ll know.

But humans were never designed to know everything.

This, I think, is partly revealed in the name God gives himself, “I AM.”  As L. T. Jeyachandran says in Beyond Opinion, God is his own frame of reference.  In other words God has a completely unique view of things, that nothing else shares.  The rest of us define our lives by other people, only God defines himself by, well, himself.  (Christians call this the Trinity, not to be confused with the Matrix Trinity)

Don’t get me wrong, this isn’t easy to accept.  I like to know with certainty more than most people.  I’m even professionally trained as a scientist.  But just because I want to know, doesn’t mean I can know.  Some things simply won’t be answered until we meet God after we die.

That’s a mystery we all have to learn to live with.

Comments are closed.