Sweet William and I cocooned ourselves early, and it is day 38 of social distancing, sheltering at home, being confined, not going anywhere or seeing people. It’s cabin fever in the spring time. Thankfully, the gardens beg for attention. Maisie still wants to walk, and I collect the mail each day while soaking in a little vitamin D.
We are eating well. The toilet paper continues in a manner like loaves and fishes. People call when they are heading to the grocery to check if we need something. Texts ping that someone is thinking of us. Mail order packages arrive on the front porch, and I’m Zooming lessons with my piano students.
The library books I checked out pre-caronavirus are in limbo, and I get to keep them for an undetermined time with no late fees. I listen to books on Hoopla for free, and podcasts are my friends.
While life is different, we are blessed. And so go our days.
On a recent podcast, Susie Davis talked with K. J. Ramsey. K. J. said we want the knowledge of good and evil, just like Eve when she was tempted with the fruit in Eden.
And it’s true. I want to know why the suffering. I want to understand the purpose in the pain. If Someone would explain the reason for sickness and death and job loss and family trauma, then I could come to some acceptance and move on. I would be able to deal with it better.
But would I? Could I handle the knowledge of good and evil, the vast expanse of wisdom that encompasses the plan of the cosmos?
No, I cannot.
We are created for fellowship with the Divine. We are invited to receive the indwelling of the Holy. We are given access to the throne of grace through Jesus. But we are not made to contain the knowledge of good and evil.
This brings a quiet peace to my soul. The things that keep me awake at night, what causes my anxiety, the questions that have no answers are too weighty for me to carry in my being. I was never meant to know the end from the beginning or to comprehend the secrets of the Godhead.
The questions the Almighty asked Job in the last chapters of his book certainly put Job in his place, silencing his questions and his complaints aimed at Yahweh. The answers Job wanted were too much for him. And they are too much for me.
“And these are but the outer fringe of his works; how faint the whisper we hear of him! Who then can understand the thunder of his power?”
— Job 26:14 NIV
When my “why” and my “how long” and my “what in the world” questions begin to crowd my thoughts until I can’t think straight, I need to remember this wise counsel. I am not capable of knowing the answers. Nor was I meant to know.
My purpose is different. I am granted the privilege of knowing the One who created me, the One who came for me, the One who was willing to die for me. I am designed to seek Him,not the unknowable mysteries.
I am created to breathe in the breath of the Spirit, to grow within the body of Christ, to be a vital instrument of love in the world.
I am given a measure of faith so I learn to believe Him who is invisible, growing in my trust and dependence.
I am invited to walk with Jesus, not alone, in the light and dark places of my journey. I can be confident He is with me at every step.
The Lord has entrusted treasures to us earthlings. We have minds to discover and invent and create art. We problem solve, build, organize, and imagine. We love and receive love, establish families and raise our young.
We are intricately designed, fearfully and wonderfully made, an amazing fusion of body, soul and spirit. We are specifically purposed by the Master Designer.
But that does not include the knowledge of good and evil. This knowledge is too great, beyond me, and not necessary for my existence.
In the days of our cocooning, I’m learning things, simple and profound. I pray the experience is not wasted on me. When this strange season of virus and pandemic are over, and it will be over eventually, wouldn’t it be astounding if we emerged from our homes changed for the better? Wouldn’t it be something if our friends saw us in person again and said, “There’s something different about you.”
What if we began as caterpillars, cocooned for a while, and became butterflies?