When the Formulas No Longer Work


When I was little, I was known as a bit of a know-it-all. Well, maybe more than a bit. It was a frequent childhood taunt.

In some ways I came by it honestly. 

One of our family values was education and my dad saw to it that we kids were well-versed in topics often beyond our years. 

At the age of eight or so, I could tell you how a steel mill blast furnace worked, what a their was (how I loved rolling that word off my tongue), and why pig iron was called pig iron. 

My mom was an expert potter. Even had a fire pit kiln in our yard. 

I excelled at school and was quick to jump on teacher errors. (Let's just say I was not a teacher's pet.)

My dad would teach us what we called "two dollar" words like "anomaly" and "prestidigitation" explaining their meanings. I grew to love the preciseness and intricacies of words.  I was an intellectual snob. It seemed I knew something about everything for a very long time. 

I grew to love explanations. I liked things to make sense. I loved mathematical formulas that always worked. 

I guess I grew up expecting life to be like one of those formulas. 

Do I need to tell you it wasn't?

I then began to guess at outcomes. 

Not surprisingly, I was usually wrong. 

But, I still looked for the magic formula that would give me the answers. 

Now older, I realize how much I don't know. 

I'm turning in my know-it-all card.

As event after event has had a seemingly negative impact on my life, I began to catastrophize, awfullize, and became so negative as I saw no way out. Depression was dragging me into it's bottomless pit. But, something amazing happened. 

In truth, I still don't see how to navigate the storms in my life. 

The good news?

God does. 

Sounds trite if you are in the midst of disaster after disaster, doesn't it?

But God gave a me a verse. One I wasn't looking for at a time I wasn't looking for it. 

I stumbled (was led!) across a verse in an email that referenced Ruth 3:18a. 

"Wait, my daughter, until you learn how the matter turns out ..."

I read it. Reread it. I stared at it. I heard it resonate in my soul. I read it to my daughter. 

She stared at me. "Sounds like God meant that verse for us, Mom."

I smiled. She smiled. And I kinda think God smiled at His two daughter's who, one early and one late in life, are now learning to wait on Him. 

Why? Precisely because we don't know how the matter will turn out. 

And that’s ok. 

 © deni weber 2010-2015