Mary and Martha could not understand what their Lord was
doing. Each of them had said to Him, “Lord, if you had been here,
my brother would not have died.” (vv. 21, 32). And behind their
words we seem to read their true thoughts: “Lord, we do not
understand why you waited so long to come or how you could
allow the man you love so much to die. We do not understand
how you could allow such sorrow and suffering to devastate
our lives, when your presence might have stopped it all. Why
didn’t you come? Now it’s too late, because Lazarus has been
dead four days!” But Jesus simply had one great truth in answer
to all of this. He said, in essence, “You may not understand, but
I am telling you that if you believe, you will see.”
Abraham could not understand why God would ask him to
sacrifice his son, but he trusted Him.Then he saw the Lord’s
glory when the son he loved was restored to him. Moses could
not understand why God would require him to stay forty years
in the wilderness, but he also trusted Him. Then he saw when
God called him to lead Israel from Egyptian bondage.
Joseph could not understand his brothers’ cruelty toward
him, the false testimony of a treacherous woman, or the long
years of unjust imprisonment, but he trusted God and finally he
saw His glory in it all. And Joseph’s father, Jacob, could not
understand how God’s strange providence could allow Joseph to
be taken from him. Yet later he saw the Lord’s glory when he
looked into the face of his son, who had become the governor
for a great king and the person used to preserve his own life and
the lives of an entire nation.
Perhaps there is also something in your life causing you to
question God. Do you find yourself saying, “I do not understand
why God allowed my loved one to be taken. I do not
understand why affliction has been permitted to strike me. I do
not understand why the Lord has led me down these twisting
paths. I do not understand why my own plans, which seemed
so good, have been so disappointing. I do not understand why
the blessings I so desperately need are so long in coming.”
Dear friend, 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.
If we could push ajar the gates of life,
And stand within, and all God’s working see,
We might interpret all this doubt and strife,
And for each mystery could find a key.
But not today. Then be content, dear heart;
God’s plans, like lilies pure and white, unfold.
We must not tear the close-shut leaves apart--
Time will someday reveal the blooms of gold.
And if, through patient toil, we reach the land
Where tired feet, with sandals loosed, may rest,
When we shall clearly know and understand,
I think that we will say,“God knew best.”