When Confusion is necessary
If you have ever attended a class on a subject you knew nothing about, you will likely agree that there were times when you were totally confused about what the instructor was talking about. This is normal. This is expected. If you were never once confused, then you didn’t learn anything. You were never once challenged by more than you already possessed in the way of knowledge. You did not grow. The class was useless. Your confusion in the class was a sign that you were being challenged with more that you presently possessed. The fact you were in the dark about answers was an indication that you were about to be enlightened.
Your confusion did not last forever, did it? (Maybe it did if you flunked the class!) But generally speaking, confusion over what is going on in a class is a necessary stage of development. Eventually, as I am exposed to the subject, I learn. The confusion is replaced by clarity. I’m not so much in the dark anymore.
Take another example. Have you ever gotten lost as you travelled to a new place? Sure. You couldn’t be expected to know anything about a place you had never visited. Yet if you are reading this, you found your way. You aren’t still out there, wandering around. Your lost condition was only temporary. And if nothing else, you learned about a new place — through the experience of getting lost and finding your way out.
God has us in a great classroom. And He is taking us on journeys into places we have never before visited. This classroom and new place, however, are spiritual. Our classroom teaches us about Jesus Christ. And it is in Christ that we are travelling and learning.
In order to learn about Jesus Christ, and in order to enter the riches found in Him, we must be adjusted. We must be faced with knowledge, experiences, and situations which are MORE than we have ever possessed. That means that confusion WILL be part of the process. Darkness — at least as it appears from
our standpoint — WILL be part of the experience. Thus, we have this “good” confusion and darkness. They are not the result of us withdrawing from God, or of God withdrawing from us. They are the result of God drawing near to us, and of Him taking us into
a new REALM — the kingdom of God.
What we THINK We Need
Never think that when God invades a person and begins to work on them that it is going to be a joyride. It is not. It is going to confusing, dark, and at times, terrifying. That’s because a human being is not geared for the kingdom of God. It takes a tremendous adjustment and a lifetime of trials to become so. But the confusion and darkness are not the end of the story. They are only the “withdrawal symptoms” which we must pass through if we are going to be set free from our addiction to this age; to this flesh. They are only birth pangs unto something else: A walk by faith.
Now, when we are confused, and don’t have answers, there is usually one thing above all which we THINK we need: The facts. An answer. A Word from God. Then, we reason, our confusion and discomfort will dissipate, and things will be fine.
Isn’t that right? If only God would tell me what I need to know! If only God would speak to me, somehow and someway, and let me know the facts about this problem! If only God would provide me with the Truth — then I wouldn’t be confused. Then I could be at peace. Then I would understand. Then everything would make sense!
Father really does know best
If you have walked along with Christ for very long, however, you have found that God often does NOT give us the answers we are looking for. Instead, He keeps quiet. Despite the fact that we pray and pray for answers and solutions, God will often refuse to speak to us about it. He may leave us in our confusion. And this condition may, in fact, continue for a long time.
Why? Doesn’t God promise to give us what we need in our times of need? Sure. But there is a significant difference between what WE think we need in a trial, and what God knows we need. We usually think we need facts so that our suffering, confusion, and uncertainty can be alleviated. But God may know we need the suffering, confusion, and uncertainty because they will be used to set us free to a life of faith in Jesus Christ.