Today I wish to direct your attention to a post by Chaplain Mike at internetmonk.com on the subject of dissatisfaction in spiritual formation. His jumping-off point is a quote from Dallas Willard: “It is spiritually formative to be dissatisfied and unable to resolve it.”
Evangelicalism does not know what to do with spiritual tension and dissatisfaction. It is difficult to imagine anyone saying that it is good to be in a place where you don’t have the answers and cannot satisfy the longing within–except possibly as a prelude to saying, in a prosperity gospel kind of way, that these negative experiences teach us to trust God and when we trust God He blesses us.
But what if dissatisfaction is a good thing, in and of itself–not because it helps you in the long run or because you learn from it or because God uses it to bring you to a better place–but simply in and of itself?
Through dissatisfaction we learn to live with the questions, we learn that we don’t have to have an answer for everything. We learn that we don’t have to, and in fact we can’t, improve Jesus’ reputation by pretending we have all the answers when we really don’t, but instead by showing that we don’t have all the answers and that we are okay with not having all the answers. This is called trust.