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Know When to Say. . .

Know When to Say . . .

In her book Silent September, Joyce Landorf discusses her own lengthy battle with pain and suffering. For several years she had battled excruciating jaw and facial pain that doctors had been unable to treat successfully. As a believer in God, she has also struggled to understand why she was having to endure such constant pain. Why was God allowing her to suffer so much for so long? In the book she tells about countless cards and letters from people who thought they were helping which said her problem was really sin in her life, or she just didn't have enough faith. Much like Job in the Old Testament she found herself repulsed by such helpful advice, yet she still had no answer. One day she visited with Charles Swindoll, the noted evangelical author and preacher. In desperation she asked Charles why God was allowing her to suffer so much. Swindoll thought for a moment and then replied, I don't know. Landorf then described what an important moment of inner healing that was when a very knowledgeable and gifted man told her he didn't know, for she realized there were indeed some questions of life that are unanswerable.
My friend Dub Orr tells the story of one of his professors at Abilene Christian, R. C. Bell, having a ritual he went through every time he came upon some extremely difficult question from scripture. Brother Bell would say, I dont know.....I dont have to know......Im glad I dont have to know!
I remember the old proverb, It is better to not speak and be thought a fool than to open one's mouth and prove it! There are times when the truth is, we don't know the answers to life's questions. It is important when such times come along that we know when to say I don't know. Maybe we can find the answers by further study; there are some questions that only God can answer. The wise person knows when to say, I don't know.

John O. York

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