Coming to the End of What I Thought I Knew

“Knowledge puffs up.”
1 Corinthians 8:1

Ever since I was young, I have craved knowledge and understanding. As a kid, I asked my parents what the meaning of life was and thought their answer, “No one really knows,” struck me as absolutely ridiculous. So everyone is just blindly staggering through their lives? That makes no sense!

I have always looked for the right answer, for the solution, for the neat, tidy lesson that makes sense of the mess. Pain is bearable if I can at least understand it.

But in this season of my life, having just entered into a new decade (the thirties), I have been confronting the fact that there is a lot I don’t know and quite a lot I don’t understand. Even about basic things like love and happiness. Even about myself.

I don’t like that.

Not understanding is humbling. It makes me uncomfortable. It makes me feel not in control. But actually, I’m not in control. And I’m not supposed to be.

“Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding.”
Proverbs 3:5


Proverbs 3:5 is my life verse, and it is wisdom I don’t think I’ll ever outgrow. The older I get and the more knowledge I accumulate, the more aware I become of my own limitations.

Me: I can’t identify the problem, and I definitely can’t figure out the solution.
God: That’s okay. I’ve got it covered.
Me: No, but really. What lesson am I supposed to be learning? What should I be doing right now?

Sometimes I hear an answer, and sometimes I don’t. And when there’s silence, in the waiting, I’m forced to face the question: Do I really trust God? Or am I determined to lean on my own understanding? Slowly, I’m learning to submit to the process––God’s process.

The answers might not be neat or simple. Reality may not fit tidily into a box. But in the middle of the mess, beauty emerges: hope persists, poking its head through the soil of all that has fallen and died. Amidst the discomfort of uncertainty, clarity comes, points of light I couldn’t see before. And when I come to the end of my strength, I find strong arms there to catch me, a love that will not let me go.



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Elizabeth is a teacher, preacher, musician, and writer. She has a Master's of Divinity and a Master's of Music, which represent her two great loves: Jesus and the arts. A half-Korean, half-white American, she spent seven years in South Korea teaching English. Elizabeth is a perpetual learner, a deep feeler, and a pursuer of beauty and truth.

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