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New Morning Mercies
There is no rest in the "why"
On January 1, 2023, our church family suffered the loss of Gretchen Kiehl. Gretchen was an amazing person who loved, encouraged, and discipled many others. As a young single mom in her 30s, her death shocked the church. Below is an excerpt from New Morning Mercies by Paul David Tripp. I hope this brings encouragement and comfort in whatever challenges you face, as it has to me this week.
Your rest is not to be found in figuring your life out, but in trusting the One who has it all figured out for your good and his glory.
We were on our way to the local mall with our two young boys when the three-year-old asked out of the blue, “Daddy, if God made everything, did he make light poles?” I had the thought that all parents have, again and again, as they deal with the endless “why” questions that little ones ask: “How do we get from where we are to where we need to be in this conversation?” Or, “Why does he have to ask me ‘why’ questions all the time?”
Human beings have a deep desire to know and understand. We spend much of our daily mental time trying to figure things out. We don’t live by instinct. We don’t leave our lives alone. We are all theologians. We are all philosophers. We are all archaeologists who dig into the mounds of our lives to try to make sense of the civilization that is our story. This God-designed mental motivation is accompanied by wonderful and mysterious analytical gifts. This drive and those gifts set us apart from the rest of creation. They are holy, created by God to draw us to him, so that we can know him and understand ourselves in light of his existence and will.
But sin makes this drive and these gifts dangerous. They tempt us to think that we can find our hearts by figuring it all out. It’s the “If only I could understand this or that, then I’d be secure” way of living. But it never works. In your most brilliant moment, you will still be left with mystery in your life; sometimes even painful mystery. We all face things that appear to make little sense and don’t seem to serve any good purpose. So rest is never found in the quest to understand it all. No, rest is found in trusting the One who understands it all and rules it all for his glory and our good.
Few passages capture that rest better than Psalm 62:5-7: “For God alone, O my soul, wait in silence, for my hope is from him. He only is my rock and my salvation, my fortress; I shall not be shaken. On God rests my salvation and my glory; my mighty rock, my refuge is God.”
In moments when you wish you knew what you can’t know, there is rest to be found. There is One who knows. He loves you and rules what you don’t understand with your good in mind.