God said to Moses, “I AM WHO I AM”; and He said, “Thus you shall say to the sons of Israel, ‘I AM has sent me to you.’ Exodus 3:14
“It is what it is” is the newest cliche. Usually people say this in response to a situation they don’t like, such as a divorce, a firing, a death in the family, and they don’t have the will or capacity to change it or the patience to wait for God to change it. It’s their polite, civilized way to say “f*** it, I don’t care anymore and apparently neither does God.”
The human tendency seems to be to cave to the forces of the outside world but at a spiritual level this attitude just doesn’t jive with who God presents Himself to be. If God is only the God of “it is what it is,” then, frankly, He falls short of the brand he’s trying to represent. Either God is Everything or He is Nothing. It doesn’t seem like there’s too much in between for the concept of God. If God is no better than “it is what it is,” then it’s quite a dilemma for the apologetics. “It is what it is” implies the singular moment to be lacking and falling short of Everything, consequently making it and God Nothing.
Yet to the Christian or the devout follower of God of Anyone’s Understanding, God is not Nothing . And if He is not Nothing then the only other option is He must be Everything because to be only Something implies pieces of Him fall short of the capacity of a definition of God. So where does this leave God in the world of “it is what it is?”
In the May 23, 2014, post of Mindblogging in Psychology Today, psychology professor Liane Gabora discusses the “it is what it is” phrase as a reference to potentiality. The phrase itself is a representation of the potentiality of what could transform from the state of ground zero of here and now. “It is what it is” right now doesn’t need to mean it will be that same manifestation a minute from now. However, the positive reframing of this phrase doesn’t accurately reflect the context in which the phrase is most commonly uttered.
And that’s where the mystery of God could enter. “It is what it is” is based on imposing human will onto a situation in which we honestly want God to intervene but aren’t too sure He will. It’s a blurting out of our hope that God will recognize the blundering we have contributed to up to this moment and inject a little grace and mercy. Our resigned acceptance of “it is what it is,” is instead a plaintive prayer that He will intercede on our behalf and rescue us from the mire of “it is what it is.” It’s our heart’s yearning that God will take this “it is what it is” assessment of our crumbled life and use it as a springboard for a more profound spiritual connection.
This “Is What It Is” we should just “Let It Be.”