Clinging to God’s Truth When We Don’t Understand

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Panting for breath. Exhausted. In fear of his life. A man ran from his persecutors. They were gaining on him. He couldn’t run anymore and saw a cave. He ran into it and fell down, desperately pleading for God to help him.

The persecutors stopped at the cave opening and he held his breath. Then one said, “He can’t have gone in here. There’s a spider web over it yet.”

God directed a spider to quickly weave a web, and the man was safe.

I read this story many years ago, and it stuck with me. As I surfed the web for it, I found different versions of it. So whether it’s truth or legend, I don’t know.

What I do know is that with God anything is possible. He can protect us in whichever way He chooses. Even weak little creatures are in His hands. Even a spider web can become a wall of protection.

But what about the times when God doesn’t put up a wall to protect His beloved? Does that mean He doesn’t hear our desperate cries? Does that mean He doesn’t care about our plight?

These questions and others have haunted me at times. Why does God protect some from harm and not others? Why does He allow evil to hurt the weak? Abuse of power to hurt the vulnerable?

When I get myself into such a quandary of questions, I spin my wheels and go nowhere. I make myself dizzy as I go round and round analyzing situations this way and that way. Sometimes my wanting to know the why of everything that happens makes my head spin.

The only way I can calm down is to focus on God’s truth and His character of love and faithfulness.

Life doesn’t always go the way we want it to or the way we expect it to. Longings are unmet. Seeking God doesn’t always mean we “feel” His presence. Cries for relief or refuge sometimes seem to go unanswered.

Here are some of the truths that have given me hope, and I pray they will do the same for you:

God is God. We are not. We don’t need to make sense out of everything. Someday we will fully understand the bigger picture of all this.

Jesus replied, “You don’t understand now
what I am doing, but someday you will.”
John 13:7 NLT

The events and circumstances that perplex us can lead us into a deeper faith in God. They help us to rely more heavily on God and His promises. They refine us to be more like Jesus.

“But He knows the way that I take
[and He pays attention to it].
When He has tried me, I will come forth
as [refined] gold [pure and luminous].
Job 23:10 AMP

Bad things happen when people who are given choices choose evil. That doesn’t mean God doesn’t love us or doesn’t care. No evil will separate us from His love.

“No, despite all these things, overwhelming victory
is ours through Christ, who loved us.
And I am convinced that nothing
can ever separate us from God’s love.
Neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons,
neither our fears for today nor our worries about tomorrow—
not even the powers of hell can separate us from God’s love.
No power in the sky above or in the earth below—indeed,
nothing in all creation will ever be able to separate us from
the love of God that is revealed in Christ Jesus our Lord.”
Romans 8:37-39

God has the power to protect us from evil, but sometimes He chooses to allow us to break, so we can be led deeper into the brokenness He suffered for us. The more we connect with His brokenness, the more He can use our brokenness to help others who are broken.

“As for you, you meant evil against me,
but God meant it for good,
to bring it about that many people
should be kept alive, as they are today.”
Genesis 50:20

No matter what happens, God’s plans and thoughts are for our good, not for evil. He gives us a future and a hope in Him.

“For I know the plans and thoughts that I have for you,’
says the Lord, ‘plans for peace and well-being and not
for disaster to give you a future and a hope.”
Jeremiah 29:11 AMP

 The sufferings we go through here are nothing compared to the glory hereafter.

“For I consider [from the standpoint of faith]
that the sufferings of the present life
are not worthy to be compared with the glory
that is about to be revealed to us and in us!”
Romans 8:18 AMP

God protected the man in the cave with a spider web. Nothing is impossible with God. But sometimes our cries for help aren’t always answered in the way we want them to.

Do you ever get yourself in a quandary of questions? Which truth here helps you calm down? What are some other truths about God, His love, and His faithful character that help you to trust Him?

A Child's Trust

“God Is God”
by Steven Curtis Chapman

“And the pain falls like a curtain
On the things I once called certain
And I have to say the words I fear the most
I just don’t know

And the questions without answers
Come and paralyze the dancer
So I stand here on the stage afraid to move…”

God-knows

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It’s a Life-long Process, Not an Immediate Answer

No-Rush-by-HolleyGerth.com_

I remember helping one of my sons with his Algebra many years ago. He wanted the answers NOW. He didn’t want to have to go through a process. It was hard for me not to just give him the answers, but I knew it would benefit him more to work through it and “discover.” Out of love, I had to deny him immediate results, because I wanted him to learn to grow in knowledge and understanding.

I was a firm believer of the discovery process when I was a teacher, too. Children would retain more of what they learned if they had to go through the process. Hand-feeding them immediate answers did not help them in the process of learning to their advantage.

Spiritual life is a process, too. A continuing, life-long process as we become more and more refined into God’s image, into the person He has created us to be. We need to become more deeply saturated in the knowledge and understanding of His Divine character and His genuine love for us.

The process is grueling and self-stripping, leaving only the love and grace of Jesus. Some of the things God uses to bring us through His process can be downright frustrating. We want the complete healing NOW, but that wouldn’t benefit us. If God would give us immediate answers, we would be in a sorry state. We wouldn’t really, truly learn, would we? Can you imagine how “entitled” we would become?

Like Paul, I begged God to remove the cross of chronic illness from me. God again and again reminds me that the cross must stay, but His grace is sufficient. This cross is part of the process to grow in Christ. I’m trying to learn to accept it more as a gift. That no matter what, God loves me and only wants what is good for me.

“Each time He said, “My grace is all you need.
My power works best in weakness.”
So now I am glad to boast about my weaknesses,
so that the power of Christ can work through me.”
2 Corinthians 12:9

Because of past sexual, spiritual, and emotional abuse, I still deal with deep, unhealed pits of shame in my soul that will take a life-long process to overcome. Yes, in Christ we are wholly and completely healed, but He chooses to lead us through a process that will bring us closer to Him and give us a deeper knowledge and understanding of what depths of suffering He went through to save us. What deep, bottomless love He has for us! And He wants us to learn to have a deeper relationship with Him and His love.

These last weeks, I took a break from blogging. I felt overwhelmed, and I wanted to ground myself more into who God really is and who I am in Christ. But I’m learning there are no quick answers. Nothing comes at the snap of our fingers, and that’s a good thing.

I’m not very good at uncertainties, but I have to learn to believe God is with me through the process and He has me in the palm of His hand. This life will always be a struggle until that day of complete perfection in Christ, when we may finally be with Him face to face. And I’m learning that’s ok. I just need to lean into Jesus and trust He is a safe Confidant and a faithful Promise-Keeper.

I thought I shouldn’t come back here until I’m more grounded, but God doesn’t expect perfection from us. As Holley Gerth says in You’re Loved No Matter What :

“We can spend our whole lives trying to
‘improve’ who we are to please someone else.
But we’re better off embracing who God made us,
enjoying it, and sharing who we are to others.”

I’m coming back with all my imperfections and trusting God will supply all I need as He has promised. Maybe the times when I groan with what to write are growing pains and part of the process. Maybe it’s God’s way to make me more dependent on Him for every word I write.

My dear readers, we are so utterly dependent on Him, aren’t we? Let’s try to let Him lead us through life’s process, however painful it can be. However frustrated we may become. Immediate answers would harm us, but God’s growing-in-Him process will only prosper us.

“Transformation is a process,
and as life happens there are tons of ups and downs.
It’s a journey of discovery –
there are moments on mountaintops

and moments in deep valleys of despair.”
~ Rick Warren

I hope that we can together support each other through this journey of discovery. Let’s rejoice together on our mountaintops and lift each other through those deep valleys. May we discover ever deeper what amazing, matchless love Jesus has for us. May we encourage each other that Jesus is always with us, no matter what. May we remind each other that His learning process will not leave us alone and unloved but will lead us into the glorious beauty of His love, grace, and mercy. In the end, the answer is out-of-this-world!

“But grow in grace (undeserved favor, spiritual strength)
and recognition and knowledge and understanding
of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ (the Messiah).
To Him [be] glory (honor, majesty, and splendor)
both now and to the day of eternity. Amen (so be it)!”
2 Peter 3:18 AMP

“Live Like You’re Loved”
by Hawk Nelson

May we grow in the grace
and knowledge of Christ Jesus!
May we realize how precious we are to Him!

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Linking up with: 

Holley – Coffee For Your Heart 

Jennifer – Tell His Story 

Kelly – Cheerleaders of Faith

Bonnie – Faith Barista’s Beloved Brews