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Sometimes "I Don't Know" Is The Best Answer

Have you ever been asked a question by a 5 year old?


I know! It's typically not one question, it's question after question after question ...


On my good days, I truly do my best to answer questions that are asked of me. Sometimes the answers come quickly, other times not so much.



In the past, if I didn't know an answer I would be tempted to make something up. However, I am starting to learn that "I don't know" is sometimes the best answer we can give to someone.


"How long will this virus last?"


"I don't know."


"When can I see my friends again?"


"I don't know."


"When can I go back to school?"


"I don't know."


I think it's important that we are okay with this answer. Sometimes we really don't know an answer and that is okay. We are probably doing someone a disservice if we guess or make up an answer just so they will leave us alone.


"I don't know" is an honest response. The truth is, there are many things that we don't know in this world.


One of my favorite authors is named Michael Yaconelli. In 2001, he wrote a short article titled "I Don't Know." In the article, Michael has a pretend conversation between a youth worker and a church member. I really appreciate this article because Michael does something that great leaders do; "face the cold hard facts and also find a way to give hope" (Dr. Henry Cloud, 2020).


Here is an excerpt from the article:


We can count on God being God.


Which means ... ?


I don't know.


And what does that mean?


It means we can trust God if we lost someone in the World Trade Center attacks, or if that person survived.


It means we can trust God when we have cancer, and when we're healed.


We can trust God if we survive a natural disaster, or if we don't.


We can trust God when we get a glimpse of divine will, and when we don't.


We can trust God in the answers and the questions, in the good and the bad, in the light and the dark, when we're winning and when we're losing.


We can trust God even when the truth doesn't answer all of our questions or leaves us with even more questions.


And, most importantly, just beyond our "I don't knows," Jesus is waiting with open arms to snuggle us in the mystery of his love. (Michael Yaconelli, 2001)


Dear reader, I am guessing that you might have some questions too. Questions such as, "Will I be able to keep my job?" "How will this virus affect my child's future?" "Will I be able to keep my family safe?"


I'm sorry I don't have a better answer for you. I'm sorry the world is in disarray. I'm sorry that things are probably going to get worse before they get better. I don't know that much right now.


What I do know, however, is that there is a God who loves you. Yes, you! He is good even when things don't make sense. He can be trusted to keep His promises. He is with you and will never fail you or forsake you.


That much I know ...




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