The summer I was 14 I went to my last year of CYC (Christian Youth Crusaders) kids' camp. I guess my constant stream of questions must have been a bit of a nuisance or something, because on the last night of camp, a group of the male counselors got up and sang a special - clearly directed at me.
"Further along you'll know all about it,
Further along you'll understand why.
Cheer up, dear Norma, live in the sunshine,
You'll understand it all by and by."
They adjusted the rest of the lyrics too, much to the amusement of the rest of the 285 campers, but sadly I only remember their version of the chorus. I did, however, look up the actual lyrics in the hymn book, and discovered that they included the following supposedly cheerful and hopeful exhortation:
"When we see Jesus, coming in glory,
When He comes from His home in the sky,
Then we shall meet Him in that bright mansion,
And we'll understand it all by and by."
Even then, I was not impressed. I wanted answers NOW. I didn't want to wait for "by and by."
I kept asking questions. Quite often they were not well received. I was often considered to be "challenging" those who were wiser and more mature in the faith than myself; and/or considered to be "disrespectful." (Or at least "lacking in faith.") I was even asked to remove myself from a Bible study group at one point, because I was "undermining the faith of new believers."
To be honest, sometimes I really was pushing peoples' buttons. Mostly because they were so sure they were right, and maybe that bugged me, especially since I personally found being certain like that to be very difficult to attain (though I could see the potential comfort in it). But most of the time, I really was asking honest questions.
You'd think (or at least some folks thought) that as I "matured in the faith" I would outgrow all that foolishness. That I'd accept and believe what was obviously right (as they believed), and that I'd just accept the difficult stuff "on faith." Well.
Forty years plus have passed, and I'm afraid I'm still asking questions.
This morning that chorus popped into my head, and I started singing it aloud. Hubby said, "Only trouble with that, is that when we reach the by-and-by, maybe our questions won't matter anymore."
Hubby rarely says anything about such matters. So I was startled. I guess he has a lot of questions himself. Maybe he's just wise enough not to ask them out loud. Though he did add that he spends a lot of time asking questions of Father. That surprised me too.
He also prayed for me, right then and there. Wow. Really, really... wow.
That's a pretty awesome answer to a whole lot of questions I've been asking Father for years and years. Maybe by-and-by starts here-and-now. And maybe Father brings answers in ways we'd not expect, from people we'd not expect. And even answering a lot more than we've been asking.
(And yes, I still have some questions...)