Sunday, August 14, 2011

Why Can’t I Understand?

There are so many realities in this world that don’t make sense. We classify them as unfair, unjust, unrealistic, unnecessary, or just plain un-understandable. In some cases, we actually understand completely, but we are still left wondering why. Why now? Why not now? Why me? The list goes on. I know I’m probably the only one who feels this way, but I am so easily frustrated by situations that leave me without answers. And I’m learning this can be a common reality in life. I say that as if that is a situation unique to me and my life- but I know that is not true I see it daily in the lives of those I come in contact with. Whether in adoption or just life in general, desiring to understand things- life situations and circumstances, the unexpected and future plans- is a natural reaction to life’s uncertainties. And I am becoming more and more convinced that this will continue to be the case for as long we live on this side of eternity. But I am learning that the source of my frustration is often an opportunity for growth in faith and trust in the One who does understand- my Creator, Provider, and the Author of everything- even the pieces I don’t understand.

I’m about to quote one of those verses that you’ve heard a million times. It’s one of those promises you know is true, but you just won’t ever be able to really wrap your mind around it. As you read them, hear these words as a promise spoken straight from the mouth of your Abba Father to your heart:

“For My thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways My ways, declares the Lord. As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways higher than your ways and My thoughts than your thoughts… You will go out in joy and be led forth in peace; the mountains and hills will burst into song before you, and all the trees of the field will clap their hands… This will be for the Lord’s renoun, for an everlasting sign that will endure forever.” (Isaiah 55: 8,9,12,13)

I write this familiar promise because no matter how many times I hear it, it never seems to fully sink in to my heart. And I don’t know that it ever truly will, but its comforting truth does not cease to wash peace over my heart. I write it now hopefully to encourage you where you are.

The truth is that my inabilities showcase my Creator’s abilities. His character is so far beyond my scope of understanding- His perfect holiness, pure goodness, faithful justice, radiant beauty, abundant love…

“What do I know of You who spoke me into motion?
Where have I even stood but the shore along Your ocean?
Are You fire? Are You fury?
Are You sacred? Are You beautiful?
What do I know? What do I know of Holy?

Then I caught a glimpse of who You might be
The slightest hint of You brought me down to my knees.
What do I know of You? What do I know of Holy?”
-Addison Road, “What Do I Know of Holy?”

If the whole of His being is too big for me to understand, what makes me think I should be able to understand His ways? He is able to do abundantly beyond all that I ask or imagine (Ephesians 3:20). If I was truly convinced of this, I would be begging Him for opportunities to see that truth in my life. But that reality is scary. In order to see Him move mountains, mountains first have to be present. For Him to work in a mighty way that is undeniably God, all other options have to be nonexistent. And that is scary. In moments when we are left asking that initial question, “why can’t I understand?”, we have the opportunity to choose faith over fear. And in those moments, He alone is left standing firm, showing His power. Because in those moments, He alone gets the glory. And you know what really doesn’t make sense? His glory is our purpose- therefore, when He gets glory, we are left with a satisfaction unparalleled by anything else this life can offer.

This is one of those truths that I will never stop needing to learn. I pray these words find a place of encouragement in your heart wherever you are today.

Mallory Blackmon
International Social Worker

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