We won’t. We will never truly know the full story.
Think of your favorite story. Did the protagonist know everything that was going on? Probably not. (And if they did, it wouldn’t have been under realistic terms.)
Job didn’t know the full story, and he was never told the full story either. (Not sure what I’m talking about? Click here for the full story.)
Sometimes we go through life and we find the answers to our questions. But sometimes we go through life and there remain questions unanswered. Some of them are casual questions, while others go much deeper. Why were they hurt? Why did I get sick? Why did they die?
And as much as I want to know the answers, I don’t know. And there are a lot of them that I probably never will. Not because it’s wrong to know the answers, but that’s not the point. The point isn’t the answer.
The point is our heart in asking the question, and in asking the question, what are we led to do? What happens to our character when we ask this question and search for the answer?
Do we become a better person in the process? Are we led to reach out to the hurting, to the lonely, to the sick, or the poor? Or do we harden our hearts, claiming that it’s not right that there is no answer? Do we make-believe an answer just to make it feel like everything’s okay, masking the pain underneath, never addressing the issue? Do we give glory to God, because He knows it all, even when we don’t?
This certainly isn’t something I have an answer for, nor am I good at handling appropriately. I struggle all the time with that dreadful, unanswered question of, “Why?” Yet we have to face the fact that we don’t know, and we may not get an answer in this lifetime. So what do we do with the silence?
- Pray. By the time I realize I’m not getting an answer, I’m emotionally unstable. I’m typically either angry or depressed, and in prayer I am able to find peace, even without answers. Prayer is our communication with our heavenly Father, who loves us more than we love ourselves.
- Humble ourselves. I stop demanding that I have a “right to know,” because I don’t. I am blessed to even exist and breathe today. This often reminds me that while my pain is real, gratitude helps me to see it in perspective.
- Focus on God. I try to bring it back to God. He is the only one that is infinite, omniscient, and omnipotent. No one else can understand my pain like He can. This includes reading His Word, because Scripture is His written word to us.
- Trust God. Lastly – and the one I probably struggle with the most – is leaving the unanswered question with God, trusting in His sovereignty, and continuing on with life. This also means trusting that even through whatever hardship I’m going through, God can still use it for good.
I don’t know the full story, and you don’t know it either. We can’t know it. But I look forward to the day when I can start asking God about His ultimate story, and talk to everyone that’s ever been a part of it, past, present, and future, and start to get a grasp of the depth and intricacy of His plot and how His characters’ lives are interwoven into His master plan.
What a story that will be.