Matthew 13:36 Then he left the crowd and went into the house. His disciples came to him and said, “Explain to us the parable of the weeds in the field.”
It strikes me that it’s not wrong to ask for clarification and explanation. Insecure people sometimes feel threatened by such things, but Jesus was and is hardly insecure! Whereas it is true that our limited human intellect and perspective generally can’t grasp the total picture, (Isaiah 55:8-9) God doesn’t want to keep us in the dark, unless knowing the short-term trials would keep us from reaching the long-term blessings. Sometimes God doesn’t supply the answers we are looking for. That can be because we aren’t really listening, and it can be because the answer He gives isn’t the answer we want. The first time I ever heard the Lord speak to me in what might as well have been an audible voice, I had been beseeching Him to speak to me, nonstop, until I paused for breath and He said clearly, “Well then, shut up.” It was quite a shock, and then I laughed! It’s not at all wrong to ask God for clarification and explanation, but our fundamental posture and attitude has to be one of commitment and obedience. We aren’t going to hear His directions very well if we aren’t willing to follow them. This particular example isn’t such a directive thing, but I’m sure it impacted the later ministry of the disciples who heard it. Even in the 1st Century there were “weeds” in the Church, and they needed to know how to deal with such people. When we rely on our own understanding and think we have to deal with everything ourselves, we both burn out and get into deep trouble. Proverbs has it spot-on: “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight.” (Proverbs 3:5-6) When we genuinely rely on God, we have nothing to worry about.
This is something that applies very directly to me. I’ve always been a glutton for knowledge, wanting to know the what and the why even from childhood. However, with that attitude I’ve tended to rely on what I knew (or thought I knew) rather than staying humble before God. I’ve long felt that Proverbs 3:5-6 and James 1:22 were put into the Bible expressly for me! My experience has certainly been that I’m never going to know everything, and that that’s OK. However, I’d better be prepared to act on what God has shown me, because strictly intellectual information is just fodder for self-deception. I’m not to hesitate to ask God anything, but I’m not to be hurt if the answer isn’t immediate, and my fundamental attitude has got to be one of joyful obedience.
Father, thank You for Your patience with me. Help me accurately express that patience to those around me, so that they won’t hesitate to approach me and especially to approach You. May we all know You as our loving Father, to be respected and obeyed, but who loves to wrap us in His arms and answer our questions. Thank You. Praise God!