Butterfly Sparks Designs

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

It Just Doesn't Make Sense.

I wonder how little David felt when he stood up on that hill to face the giant Goliath. I can imagine that his heart was racing, and that he was fiercely shaking in fear. He probably felt that way until he felt the hand of God take his trembling hand as he pulled back the sling and the stone. David faithfully remained obedient to God. And God showed him that He was there.

I wonder how Abraham felt, when the knife in his hand was raised as he was poised to kill his very own beloved son. I can imagine that his heart, too, was racing, and that he was fiercely shaking in fear. He probably felt that way until he felt the hand of God take his trembling, knife-wielding hand and lay it down as a lamb appeared on the altar. Abraham faithfully remained obedient to God. And God showed him that He was there.

God is always there. He is there when victory seems impossible and out of reach. Just as He was the power in David’s sling, He was the calmness in Abraham as he walked up Mt. Moriah and raised His knife to kill the son he loved so much. And He is with us, as every detail that is undefined in our life right now becomes clear, and as He reveals piece by piece his direction and will for our lives.

Obedience sometimes just doesn’t make any sense. But obedience doesn't require understanding. And let's just be honest -- that's just plain hard to accept sometimes.

I don’t know about you, but usually if I can’t understand something it’s difficult for me to embrace it. Children torment their parents and older siblings with one word: "WHY?!" My parents taught me that I did not have to understand the "why" to obey the "what." And God is the same. My ways are not as high as His ways, and nor are my thoughts as high as His. He is God, and although I may not understand what He is doing, my heart must remember what it knows to be true in any circumstance. That He hung blameless on the cross for me – and because of that, every single moment of my life and every single “planned coincidence” made sense as of the very moment He took his last breath. When we don’t understand, we must remember that He is the God who understands.

When I was a child, I used to speak like a child, think like a child, reason like a child; when I became a man, I did away with childish things. For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face; now I know in part, but then I will know fully just as I also have been fully known" (1 Corinthians 13:11-12, NIV).
My parents knew that as a child, I could not understand all of the implications and possible outcomes of my actions, so they set boundaries for me. I was to obey these, even when I did not understand why they were there. They did not do this to control me, but because they loved me. God does the same. God sees all of the implications and outcomes of our actions and words. We can not possibly comprehend all of His workings in and through us, yet we are called to obey Him.

So how do I obey what I don't understand? I do so by trusting the One who gave the command. Sometimes what God says is best for us appears to be the worst for us from our point of view. But at those times we have to trust that He knows more than we do and cares for us. He is the God who understands. "Trust the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding. In all your ways, acknowledge Him, and He will make straight your paths." (Proverbs 3:5-6, NIV)

Isn’t this what a life of faith is all about? It is about putting our lives securely in the hands of God and resting in His commands. Sometimes, I have to ask myself if I am resting in them or wrestling with them. I must remember that even when I don't understand it all, He does. He is always there, and He never stops working on my behalf.

May we find our rest in that deep, unbreakable assurance and remain faithfully obedient, even when we don't understand.

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