We deeply desire to understand God and what He is doing. We want that understanding fully, and we want it now. Often, we won’t trust until we have it, we won’t move forward, we won’t allow joy.
And somehow we forget, in almost every scenario in which we’ve seen God work, that He did so without granting us full and immediate understanding. We forget that everything worked out despite our lack, and, in fact, it worked out better as soon as we accepted our lack.
I think of this as I get some work done on the porch of a house that I don’t fully understand; a house that I would never have pursued, but will begin paying a mortgage on next week; a house with repairs I don’t know yet how we’ll cover; a house with potential, but with a to-be-seen long-term cost that comes with radical hospitality.
I think of the times over the last 6 months that I wanted to know, but couldn’t; that I thought I knew, but didn’t; that things changed inexplicably and muddied my understanding of next steps.
And yet, here I sit, on this porch, repairs being done, mortgage on the way, and no turning back.
There’s no time to wait for God to spell it out. I am forced to trust, and do so with some high-level, frightening unknowns.
The truth is, sometimes it’s our deep desire to understand God and what He’s doing that necessitates us being placed in these situations, situations that won’t allow us to follow or trust God conditionally, that leave no room for excuses or arguments.
And perhaps it’s in that — the fact an all-powerful God is tailoring a situation around us (though not necessarily solely for us), and doing so with deep patience for our immaturity — that we learn how to be content in all situations. Because, in this, the situations themselves no longer matter most, because they are simply a part of something bigger. The woes of life, of work, of home, are elements of a bigger, holy work.
And while they may still sting, they aren’t the final say.
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