Sooner or later we all experience an event in time when life doesn’t make sense. I’ve had a few of those, and I’m sure you can relate.
My husband and I made a three-year commitment to live in Nepal back in the 80s so he could work on a hydro-electric power project there. We were the only English-speakers in our wee village, and our Nepalese language skills were limited at best. Our home was a mud and rock house with a grass thatch roof, no electricity, and no indoor plumbing.
I was in my early 20s and pregnant with our first child when we moved into the village. My husband walked about thirty minutes to the project office six days a week, and I remained behind. Airmail letters were our only means of communicating with family and friends back then, and those took three weeks to reach their destination. To say I was lonely and blown away by culture shock was an understatement.
But God did a significant change in my thinking over time. He helped me work through culture shock and brought me to the place where I truly wanted to spend the rest of my life there. We even had an interview with a career non-profit organization. One week after that interview, however, the Lord sent us back to North America due to circumstances beyond our control.
Thirty-eight years later, I still don’t understand why God positioned us in Nepal and gave us hearts willing to stay there only to send us back to North America. I could easily question His wisdom or His goodness toward us. Did He really know what He was doing? Did He really care about the hardship we experienced for the first two years? Did He really have our best in mind when He plucked us from the country we’d grown to love and to which we’d committed ourselves to serving?
Rather than question God’s wisdom and goodness when life doesn’t make sense, let’s cling to the truth of His Word.
“For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I have been fully known.” (1 Corinthians 13:12 ESV)
The apostle Paul referred to a mirror knowing his readers could relate. In those days, Corinth was famous for producing mirrors made from polished metals. They were beautiful, but they always produced a somewhat distorted image.
When we feel as though life doesn’t make sense, it’s because we can’t see a clear picture of what God is doing in our lives at this time. Our understanding is distorted, as though we’re looking into a mirror made of polished metal. We can’t get a clear picture because we can’t see everything God sees from His infinite and eternal perspective.
For now, we look at our circumstances and fail to see clearly. But someday—when we reach heaven—we’ll gain a heavenly perspective. Someday our understanding will be made complete when we see Jesus face-to-face.
Now we know spiritual truths only in part. We have a limited knowledge of God’s character. We have a limited understanding of the way He works, why He does the things He does, and why He allows certain things to happen. But someday, Paul says, we will know all these things fully just as we have been fully known.
The phrase “just as we have been fully known” refers to the complete way in which God knows us. Scripture says that He knows the number of hairs on our head, the motives of our heart, the words we speak before they roll off our tongue. He knows when we get up and when we lie down, and where we are at all times. Nothing about us is hidden from Him. He knows us fully.
Someday we’ll know more fully than we know now. We’ll know more about God’s character and more about why He allowed certain circumstances into our lives.
We’ll know how He was there for us even when we felt alone. We’ll know when He directed our steps even though we hadn’t asked for guidance. We’ll know when He protected us from danger we didn’t know was there. We’ll know how He used suffering to refine our faith and make us strong. We’ll know why prayers that we thought went unanswered were actually answered in ways that evidenced God’s goodness in our lives.
The day will come, my friend, when we see Jesus face-to-face and we will fully know. But until then, through every situation in which life doesn’t make sense, let’s trust His heart and rest in His love.
May I pray for you?
“Dear God, thank You for giving us hope for those times when we don’t understand Your ways. When we look at our circumstances and see only a distorted view of what’s happening in our lives, remind us that someday we’ll see you face-to-face and know fully. Until then, teach us to trust Your heart and Your good plans. In Jesus’ name, amen.”
This song fits beautifully with today’s devotion.
Do you know someone experiencing a season when life doesn’t make sense? Give a gift of hope today.