Wednesday, August 22nd, 2012
I Don't Understand...
Trust in the Lord with all your heart,
And lean not on your own understanding;
In all your ways acknowledge Him,
And He shall direct your paths.
Proverbs 3:5-6 (NKJV)
Have you not known?
Have you not heard?
The everlasting God, the Lord,
The Creator of the ends of the earth,
Neither faints nor is weary.
His understanding is unsearchable.
Isaiah 40:28 (NKJV)
I always knew I was smart. My grades proved it. Other people said it, and it worked for me later in business.
I never thought I was prejudiced. But I was. I looked down on people who were slower to 'get it'--whatever the 'it' was.
I didn't think I was God, but I acted like it--proclaiming my righteousness and judging others as wrong.
In my artificial world of godhood, I thought I understood most things worth understanding. If I didn't understand, then something was wrong--but not me. Perhaps pride and prejudice were two of the reasons I needed to be utterly broken to submit to Jesus. Kind of like Paul--but the people I persecuted were closer to home.
Which brings me to all the things 'smart people' do not understand: why good people suffer, why we have to wait, why we're told to bless our enemies, and why we're supposed to believe every Word of the Bible.
Could it be that we serve an eternal God with the long view? 'Beloved, do not forget this one thing, that with the Lord one day is as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day' (2 Peter 3:8).
'Whereas you do not know what will happen tomorrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapor that appears for a little time and then vanishes away' (James 4:14). In other words, we see a snapshot from a one-dimensional pinhole.
God sees the past, present, and future of every person from every perspective. The waiting and suffering we witness may be as momentary as birth pains leading to a brilliant new life--even an eternal one. Waiting is still frustrating and suffering is still hard, but faith eases the burden until God exchanges it for joy.
His mysteries are purposeful; 'For as the heavens are higher than the earth, So are My ways higher than your ways, and My thoughts than your thoughts' (Isaiah 55:9).
So, let's step out of the blinding spotlight of arrogance and prejudice into God's gentle light of humility and faith. We can see better that way.
We were not created to understand everything, because we are not God. But I believe God will reveal His plans to us with a slow smile in good time. So let's be patient and rest in His promise 'That all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose' (Romans 8:28).
And when we don't understand, choose to believe.
P.S. To read the other devotions in this series, please see the I Don't Understand... series.