I Can’t Explain It

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Vol. 19 No. 31 | August 6, 2017

One of the first questions we learn to ask is Why.

Daddy, why is the sky blue? Mommy, why do I have to take a nap? Why can’t I have more candy? Why do I have to go to the dentist?

Questioning everything does not stop when we get older. The desire to understand why, to be able to explain why, and to find a reason for life’s situations seems to continue though every season of life.

As adolescents, we want an explanation for ever request made by our parents. Then, we reach the stage when we are convinced we know the answer to everything. And eventually, we arrive at the season of life when we realize we don’t have a definitive explanation for much of anything. So we continue to ask questions.

In last week’s article, based on John 9, I pointed out how the closest followers of Jesus demonstrated the struggle many of us have with wanting to blame others for why things don’t go the way we want them to. Perhaps part of this need to blame is an extension of our inherent need for an explanation.

The members of the blind man’s community could not understand why he could suddenly see and wanted an explanation.

After saying this, he spit on the ground, made some mud with the saliva, and put it on the man’s eyes. 

“Go,” he told him, “wash in the Pool of Siloam” (this word means “Sent”). So the man went and washed, and came home seeing.

His neighbors and those who had formerly seen him begging asked, “Isn’t this the same man who used to sit and beg?”  Some claimed that he was. Others said, “No, he only looks like him.”

But he himself insisted, “I am the man.”

“How then were your eyes opened?” they asked.

He replied, “The man they call Jesus made some mud and put it on my eyes. He told me to go to Siloam and wash. So I went and washed, and then I could see.”

“Where is this man?” they asked him.

“I don’t know,” he said. (John 9:6-12, NIV)

In this scene, and in others later in the chapter, you see and hear people hoping for an explanation and never receiving one.

A couple of thoughts come to mind to explain this.

First of all, we may never know the reason why some things happen as they do. Sometimes, God does things to and for us for reasons we cannot explain and will never understand. But we know that He loves us and is constantly working in and around us to bless us, teach us, and shape us into the people He created us to be.

Secondly, it is okay to not know the explanation. We do not need to have an answer for everything God does. God can answer for Himself. We do not need to explain why or how He works. We know He works. We see the result of His work. We are the recipients of His work.

The man who was cured of his blindness did not need to know why Jesus’s simple acts involving mud and spit made him finally able to see. The end result was good enough for him.

Maybe acknowledging and appreciating that God has worked and is working in your life is all you need. I don’t know how or why, all I know is that God works. He shows up at just the right time and in just the right way. And I am blessed by that. And that is good enough for me.


A Norvell Note © Copyright 2017 Tom Norvell All Rights Reserved

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