I recently made this statement in a funeral where a sister in Christ went home to be with the Lord via ALS (Lou Gehrig’s Disease) at the young age of 55.
This is what I mean to say, when I say “I have more questions than answers”:
1. The infinite character of God leads me to acknowledge that I presently know very little compared to what can be known. If eternity future is described as a never-ending discovery of the “unsearchable riches” of Christ, and there will never come a day when I will say, “Is that all?” – then my questions outnumber my answers. The apostle John said that the world cannot contain the books that could be written of the short 33 years of Christ (John 21:25). And John Newton said that after 10,000 years with the Lord in the new heavens and new earth, “we’ve no less days to sing God’s praise than when we’d first begun.” In other words, after all that time you will not have used up a single day, a single reason to say, “only 9,999 days left to enjoy God and then it’s over – there’s nothing left to explore.”
2. The finite character of Man leads me to acknowledge that I presently know very little compared to what can be known. You don’t need scripture to believe this. Look around you and explain fully all that you see. Can you? Can you explain what all the research hospitals are still trying to learn? Can you explain why musicians can still write music with only 12 notes to work with? Think of it: hundreds of thousands of new songs will be written this year in dozens of genres and still not exhaust the infinite possibilities of just 12 notes. Can you explain that? Do you comprehend the thousands of life-sustaining activities that your body will perform this day to keep you alive? The immune system alone will perform hundreds of jobs while you read this post so that you don’t drop dead before you’re finished. Do you get that?
Job was asked 77 questions by the Lord of Heaven and Earth and he could not answer a single one. Which means that Job has more unanswered questions to deal with than answers. This was his confession. (Job 42:1-6)
However, if you have more answers than questions, or very few questions, then,
1. You are nearly as knowledgeable as God is, or,
2. You don’t care to know what you don’t know. You’re too prideful to ask. You don’t ask because either you think you know it all or you really do. Do you really know it all?
But this is what I do not mean to say, when I say “I have more questions than answers”:
I do not mean to say that I am uncertain about what I already know to be true and the source of which I am certain about truth. There are some things that we can know for certain. Like jumping out of an airplane without a parachute may feel good momentarily, but not for long. Like taking a right turn off the Interstate to drive up an exit merge ramp – it might be quicker to get back on track but watch out for that head-on collision. Like drinking bleach. Like storing pennies in your ear (that’s not what that orifice was made for!). I am certain about thousands and thousands of things because there are that many things that can be known. Especially, I know that my redeemer lives, and that one day he will stand again upon the earth (Job 19:25). Job suffered terribly and never did find out the full purpose of his suffering. But that does not mean that suffering has no purpose. It just means that you might not know in this lifetime all that there is to know about suffering. I also know for certain that God is able to guard my faith through all suffering and bring it to a completion when my life expires (2 Tim. 1:12; Phil. 1:6).
I have more questions than answers. But I have Jesus too – and so does our sister in Christ! And he’s more than enough to satisfy our quest for knowledge without exhausting the quest. Our desire to know is evidence that there is something more to be known.