When suffering, it is natural to think knowing God’s reasons would bring us peace, but Lisa shares why contentment isn’t dependent on understanding.
“I do not concern myself with great matters or things too wonderful for me . . . Like a weaned child I am content. (Psalm 131:1b-2)
Have you ever gotten to the point where you are willing to accept a trial or situation in life, knowing that God has it under His control, and yet you still long for a reason? Like a child with a parent, we beg God to just give us a reasonable explanation and then we will rest in His arms–then will be able to trust Him completely.
With my own illness I took great effort into avoiding allowing the “why’s” to enter my thoughts. Even if I understood why God allowed rheumatoid arthritis to enter my body twenty years ago, would it really make a difference how I dealt with it? I chose to trust Him.
But there are days when I wonder. . . I have new struggles in life, and in some ways I think I could cope so much better with them if my body was in good health. Did God forget I had a decent-sized cross I was already trying to lift when He added another one?
Lately, God has sent me several reminders that I don’t need His explanations. A few weeks ago I watched the return of Pastor Rick Warren and his wife to church, after the suicide of his adult son this Spring. He shared how much he wanted to understand God’s reasons, an explanation from God about the mental illness his son dealt with since childhood. He recognized however, explanations don’t bring comfort.
“You don’t need an explanation,” he said. “You need God. He has a purpose greater than the problem you are going through.”
Soon after, my mother-in-law shared a passage from the book Jesus Calling.
Understanding will never bring you Peace. That’s why I have instructed you to trust in Me, not in your understanding. . . . [You are] searching for understanding (mastery), instead of seeking Me (your Master) . . . My Peace is not an elusive goal, hidden at the center of some complicated maze. Actually, you are always enveloped in Peace, which is inherent in My Presence.
How many times have I searched for mastery rather than seeking out the Master? God’s reasons and ways may be a mystery to us, but His love for us is never conditional on our understanding of Him. In fact, not knowing the mysteries of God is an integral part of our relationship with Him because it requires trust. May we find peace not because of He reveals to us, but because of who He is.
Prayer: God, I so want to get to the bottom of things so I can more fully understand Your purpose. How haughty of me to think I could follow the train of thought of You, my God! Romans 1:5 reminds me that it is because I “have been justified through faith” that I have peace through Your son, Jesus, however, not because I have figured out Your mystery. You never withhold peace. Amen.
About the author:
Lisa Copen appreciates all you did to assist her in sharing about Invisible Illness Awareness Week last Week. We reached over 50,000 people with hope that you can still live a life of joy, despite illness. Lisa lives in San Diego with her husband and son and this week she is . . . tired. You can see the books she has written, including, Why Can’t I Make People Understand? at the Rest Ministries shop.
This is a video with a story that will surely touch you. The wing is “Lift Me Up” By The Afters and the lyrics speak of how we wait for a sign, a reason, an explanation from God. I hope it touches you as it did me. -Lisa