Cattails, Rabbit Trails, and Thistlefish: When It's Not for Me to Know

Thursday, February 19, 2015

When It's Not for Me to Know


"... he ordered them not to leave Jerusalem but to wait for what the Father had promised..." (Acts 1:4)

One of my teammates spoke on Acts 1 a few nights ago. She pointed out how crazy it must have seemed that Jesus just asked the disciples to wait. They had left everything to follow Him, and had done so faithfully for 3 years. They had dropped families, jobs, money, all forms of security. When Jesus came back to life, I can only imagine that their eagerness and willingness to follow Him had only increased. But what instructions does He give?
"Don't leave. Wait."

His friends continue to ask questions, asking Him is He's "going to restore the kingdom to Israel now?" They want to know if He's come back to "wreck shop" and take Israel out of Rome's oppression. His answer, however, is neither "yes" nor "no." He replies:

"It isn't for you to know the times or seasons that the Father has set by His own authority." (Acts 1:7)

I would have hated that answer. I still do. Nothing gets me more frustrated than when I ask a question and someone answers "You don't need to know right now." I become that 8-year-old kid that can't understand why she can't know everything the adults do.

Anyone who has read Acts, or been to a charismatic church around Pentecost, knows the rest of the story: after waiting and praying, the Holy Spirit anoints the believers and their ministry explodes. 

Again, God totally blows away all of the expectations His kids have. He shows He's bigger and greater than they know; He shows that He's infinitely creative and imaginative; He shows that He's got a ginormous, glorious plan beyond our wildest guesses. He's beautifully unpredictable, yet faithful and unchanging and reliable.

Just like the disciples, I'm in that place where the Lord seems to just be saying, "Wait." It's a frustrating place, because that's not the sort of answer I'm seeking. I want an answer that gives me instruction and direction; He's giving an answer that gives me an opportunity to sit back and just see what grand display of His goodness He has in store for me this time.

Right now, it's not for me to know what He has on His mind in regards to certain things in my life. But that's okay, because I can trust Him to be to me what He was to the disciples: mysterious and secretive, but always faithful to His promises.


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