Several weeks back on a Sunday morning, the person in charge of preparing communion approached me prior to Bible class and reported that one of the lids to the bread trays was missing (I waited a few weeks to protect their identity).
I looked at the table and, sure enough, it was set up with two stacks of fruit of the vine trays (each with a lid), one stack of collection trays, and two stacks of bread trays (one with a lid, one without).
Prior to class starting, I asked several people (including our elders) if they had seen “the other lid to the bread trays” and they said they had not.
And so began a valiant search that lasted well into the Bible class hour. A few of our members, myself included, looked through the cabinets in the kitchen multiple times in search of the missing lid. We looked every possible place it could be. Alas, it was to no avail...the other lid to the bread trays was nowhere to be found.
So I began to think about how to make it less obvious that the second lid for the bread trays was missing. After a few minutes, I had a thought...why not just have ONE stack of bread trays?
Then I had another thought: we always only have ONE stack of bread trays!
I (and others) had spent 30 minutes looking for the second lid to the bread trays...except we only have ONE lid for the bread trays and it was on the table already! I, to say nothing of those who have been attending Eastgate much longer than I have and helped look for the second bread tray lid, was embarrassed.
Sometimes when we study the Bible, we do this exact same thing. We look for something that is not there. We want it to be there; we believe it to be there; someone else even told us it was there, they just didn’t know where...but, alas, it just isn’t found.
The trouble is that when we realize it is not there (or someone points this out), instead of just getting a little embarrassed and moving on and learning from it, often we get mad: at ourselves for being misled; at the other person for pointing it out; or even at God for, well, what He says or doesn’t say in His word.
When you study the Bible, try to do so without preconceived ideas as to what it is “supposed” to say or not say. Allow yourself to be guided by what it does say.
Otherwise you’ll find yourself getting more and more frustrated as you continue looking for something that is just not there.