You Don't Have to Understand All of God’s Ways
You do not have to understand all God’s ways of dealing with you. He does not expect you to understand them. You do not expect your children to understand everything you do—you simply want them to trust you. And someday you too will see the glory of God in the things you do not understand. J.H.M.
A while ago I was debating with God. I wanted one thing; but I sensed Him saying back to me: “you may not get what you want.” Honestly, I was having a hard time with His response. Until, I opened my Bible and providentially began reading in the book of Job. There I came to Job 1:21-22, a verse I had circled sometime in the past. It read: “Naked came I out of my mother’s womb, and naked shall I return thither: the Lord gave, and the Lord hath taken away; blessed be the name of the Lord. In all this Job sinned not, nor charged God foolishly.” The last part of the verse really stung. In debating God, I was in essence “charging God foolishly.” I was saying: “God, my ways are better than your ways; I believe I know best.” Anytime we question God’s dealings with us, this is what we are saying.
The Bible puts it into perspective. God says in Isaiah 55:8-9: “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, Nor are your ways my ways, says the Lord. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways higher than your ways, and My thoughts higher than your thoughts.” What perspective! My ways are NEVER better than God’s ways. This doesn’t mean that God won’t have patience with our flesh—He knows we struggle against things that seem unfair, or unjust, or simply downright painful. He understands we are human…but He would far rather us reach a higher level—a place of implicit trust in His ways.
When we are in a time of not understanding God’s dealings with us, what God desperately desires from us is not our natural human response, but, something far deeper. The ability Job possessed…the ability to trust God in faith and not charge Him foolishly when bad things happen. But, this isn’t always easy.
You may have already asked the question (maybe more than once), “God, if you are such a loving God, then why did You allow (you fill in the blank) to happen?” God desires us to get to a place where this question can be reframed to ask instead: “God if you have allowed this trial to come into my life, what do you desire for me to learn from it?” Though it may sound impossible now, God desires each of us to reach a place where we can say as Job once said: “Though He slay me, yet will I trust Him.” Job 13:15
A few months ago, we had a couple visit us from another country who had spent their life running a successful farming business. Prior to their coming, I had been working hard to revive several young fruit trees in our yard that had been planted a few years ago, but weren’t showing much progress or growth. For a few months, I worked on a compost pile that would be used to amend their soil; I watered the trees faithfully every day; and we spent several hours out hiking in the jungle to collect wood scraps for mulch, which we put around the base of the trees to help retain moisture in the soil. Just before the couple arrived, I had finally begun to see some of the rewards of our efforts to revive these trees. I can remember standing outside and praising God for several new shoots on one of the trees.
But, then, something unthinkable happened. Our new friend came and told me I needed to prune the very trees I had been working so hard to revive. And, that would mean cutting off all the new growth! Unthinkable…that’s all I could think. But, that’s what we did (well, really he did, and I watched from a distance).
That day and the next few days as I was out watering the young fruit trees that now looked almost barren, I couldn’t help but think: “what a loss, and why had I bothered to do all that work?” But, our friend with far more knowledge than I have, knew far better than I did what the end result would be! Today, a month later, we have entered into our rainy season here, and those same “barren” fruit trees are springing even more new shoots and showing more life than what I had even seen after all my many efforts to revive them!
This is just how it is with God at work in our lives. We can work in our own strength, continually believing we know best, but when the Great Gardener comes along and prunes us; we can trust His results will ALWAYS be far greater, far better than anything we could have ever imagined!