What to Do When You Don’t Understand

Life can only be understood backwards, but it must be lived forwards. ~ Søren Kierkegaard

Why, God, why? Why is this happening to me? Don’t you know I love You? Why do I have to deal with all this stuff [whatever your ‘stuff’ is]? I just want to live my life without all the challenges and drama. Please, Lord, make it go away!

Does that sound like you? Are you tired of fighting, whining and crying? Are you tired of asking “WHY?” and trying to puzzle it out?

The human mind is a seeker. It wants answers. Every detail of your life enters your brain and gets sorted, categorized and filed for future reference. From birth, your mind starts to sort things into patterns – good/bad, yes/no, sweet/yuck. (Have you ever watched a baby spit peas?)d

As you grow and learn, your mental filing cabinet continues to categorize every experience according to prior ones. We develop likes and dislikes based on those experiences. One bad plane ride means you don’t want to fly – ever! A taste of something, whether poorly or well prepared, and you swear off seafood or broccoli.

In a world of overwhelming information and decisions, your mental process makes it easier to cope. Your mind has already pre-determined how to act or react in certain situations. You trust yourself to ‘figure it out’.

Then something happens that throws all your neat little mental files into turmoil. Now what?

Rethink your thinking. … How long will ye judge unjustly …? (Ps. 82:2) Is it possible to look at your situation another way? If you were God – or even your best friend – how would they perceive this? Can you see a lesson to learn, a habit to change, an attitude to adjust? Have you become ‘territorial’ over certain issues that you need to let go? Are you assuming responsibility where you shouldn’t? Check your conscience. Some honest time with yourself may reveal some surprising answers.

Don’t blame God. … far be it from God, that He should do wickedness; and from the Almighty, that he should commit iniquity. (Job 34:10) No matter what is going on in your life, if it’s not good, it’s not God. Now, that’s not saying He won’t use your situations to teach and strengthen you. But don’t blame Him for your current crisis. Instead, ask Him to show you the way out. Look for the blessing in the midst of your turmoil.

Don’t blame people. For we wrestle not against flesh and blood … (Eph. 6:12) Of course, someone may have ‘done something’ to you, but ‘they’ are not the real culprit. They are simply being used by the devil to torment or terrorize you. He knows which buttons to push, what situations to create to block your path and shut down your blessing. Release the temptation to blame your spouse, your parents, your teachers, your kids or the government. Forgiveness is essential to finding peace and understanding.

Get wisdom. Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways, acknowledge Him, and He shall direct thy paths. (Prov. 3:5-6) This verse, maybe more than any other, shows you the way to your solution. God has answers – all of them. First, search The Word. Use a concordance to look up words that pertain. If you’re overwhelmed by debt, look up scriptures on money, debt, wealth, riches. If you’re dealing with health issues, look up all the verses on healing, health and well-being. Research grief, forgiveness, relationships, or whatever wisdom you seek. It’s in there if you dig deep enough. After all, God promised you will find Him if you seek Him with all your heart.

Grab patience. Rest in the LORD, and wait patiently for him: fret not thyself … (Ps. 37:7) Can you do that? Fret not? Release the situation and everyone involved to God’s timing? Cast all your care on Him, like He told you to do? Patience does not mean submission to the circumstances. Rather, patience is a spiritual force that keeps you ‘on track’ (walking in love, forgiving, releasing) until you receive the answers you need. Patience enables you to hold your tongue when you’d rather lash out. It reminds you that God’s got your back and He won’t allow you to fall.

Often, you have to push forward whether you ‘understand’ what is happening or not. Life requires action. You can’t simply sit down and wait for resolution. “Stop the world, I want to get off!” is not an option.

Usually, however, you really do understand, you just don’t like the answers you’re getting. Doesn’t matter. Forgive anyway. Love anyway. Be patient anyway. Trust God anyway. That’s what faith is really all about. Faith says, “I don’t know how, but I do know Who. I trust You, Lord.” Then … just do it.

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