Perhaps you’ve heard the old joke about the minister who was giving a children’s talk in church one Sunday on the subject being prepared and decided to use squirrels as an example.
He started out by saying, “I’m going to describe something, and I want you to raise your hand when you know what it is.” The children nodded eagerly. “This thing lives in trees (pause) and eats nuts (pause)…” No hands went up. “And it is gray (pause) andhas a long bushy tail (pause)…” The children were looking at each other, but still no hands raised. “And it jumps from branch to branch (pause) and chatters and flips its tail when it’s excited (pause)…” Finally one little boy tentatively raised his hand. The pastor breathed a sigh of relief and called on him. “Well…,” said the boy, “I know the answer must be Jesus…but is sure sounds like a squirrel!”
Those of you who have been in Sunday School long enough know that even if the answer to the question isn’t Jesus, if you say Jesus when you don’t know the answer the teacher will usually give you some form of affirmation. In Sunday School it seems he’s never the wrong answer. As disciples of Jesus we’re in a circumstance that most of us have never been in. Individually we don’t have comparable experiences to guide us in responding. As a group we don’t have comparable experiences to guide us in responding. This means that even though Jesus is the answer, what we don’t know is the question.
We need to give ourselves some time to think and reflect about what this circumstance is revealing about us, what is it about ourselves that specifically needs to grow in our trust of Jesus, who he is and what he has done for us.
In John 16:33 Jesus assures his disciples “In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.”
Experiencing fear and uncertainty is not the evidence of a lack of faith.
It is the recognition that though you may have trusted Jesus through sickness, stress about work, tense family members, loneliness, and/or economic uncertainty we haven’t trusted him in this combination of experiences where so many of us are experiencing them all at once together.
Jesus is the answer, Jesus has been our answer.
Allow yourself to learn how he’s the answer to your unique question in this unique season.

2 thoughts on “Knowing The Answer, Working Out The Question

  1. Brian Johnson says:

    Thank you Gary

  2. Pauline says:

    Good point Gary…one may have one or two things going on at same time and trust in the Lord still, but when we have a few things happening all at once, it is then things get tough and may wonder if we have enough faith to see us through it all…it is especially hard when someone who calls themselves a Christian but ultimately betrays you and/or someone you love…

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