Beyond The Understanding

2012-05-05 12.31.23

“I just don’t understand why this is happening!”

Those were the words that I said over and over again when the branch fell on top of our truck, smashing the windshield and putting a dent in the hood the size of Texas (well maybe not Texas, it was more like Rhode Island).

But it was just one of those moments. After getting off the phone with the insurance company and getting all of those lovely deductible details taken care of, I moved on to cooking dinner. Trying to keep my mind off of what just put a negative dent (pun intended) in our day. I tried not to come unglued and thought of every possible thing I was thankful for in that moment. (Thank you Lysa TerKeurst for that nugget!) And I didn’t. I stayed calm. The hubby and I talked about ways to take care of it financially and we left it at that.

But then came the day after. When I woke up in a funk. With a bad attitude for what appeared to be no reason. The emotions were going, and I couldn’t put my finger on it. Was it PMS (what woman doesn’t ask that question when she feels moody?) Was it lack of sleep? Was it the 3 year old and the 10 month old pulling at my leg? Was it the grief of losing my Nanny just the week before? Was it the truck incident?

I honestly couldn’t figure it out, so I just stayed in the mood. I pushed it all down. Stayed quiet, and a bit tense, and moved on with the morning.

Until the question was asked, “Are you doing ok?”

Oh, those four words have a way of conjuring up every feeling down in my soul without me even realizing it. I didn’t want to answer. I wanted to play the “I’m fine” card, but I knew it would be the unwise thing to do. So I just let the emotion flow out. Thankfully it came out in tears and not screams, and thankfully, my husband received my words with grace and not condemnation. But oye! It all came out.

And yes, the answer was all of the things mentioned above, but they were all wrapped around one central idea:

I just don’t understand why this is happening!

Have you ever caught yourself saying that exact phrase in the midst of the insanity and uncertainty of life? Things aren’t going smoothly, in fact the road just went from a little rocky to pothole city and you find yourself continually asking, “Why, God, why?”

Why does it all happen at once? Why do hard times come when we’re doing everything we can to sacrifice so much for You?

I know I’m not the only one who asks this. And even if we don’t always ask it out loud, we ask it in our hearts.

Sometimes we just want to be like the Psalmist and have a conversation with God and ask why, and that’s okay.

But other times, it’s straight up doubt, mistrust, lack of faith. Sin.

Yesterday I read a verse that I’ve read a million times. It’s one of those put it on a bookmark, engrave it on a plaque type of verses. You know what I’m talking about. The verses that we’ve heard and read so many times, we just glaze over them.

But I want you to hear what is being said here:

“Trust in the Lord with all your heart; do not depend on your own understanding.
Seek his will in all you do, and he will show you which path to take.”
Proverbs 3:5-6, emphasis mine

Did you catch that second part of verse 5?
“Do not depend on your own understanding.”

We’re down to one car. I don’t understand.
Do not depend on your own understanding.

I can’t get a hold on my emotions. I don’t understand.
Do not depend on your own understanding.

I can’t get my kid under control. I don’t understand.
Do not depend on your own understanding.

Insert your own “________________  just happened. I don’t understand. And it’s the same response.

Do not depend on your own understanding.

That’s a tough pill to swallow. It always leaves a lump in my throat. It’s hard to look beyond our own understanding. It’s hard to not depend on what we tangibly see or feel.

But it’s a good kick to the pants that we need when our emotions are still fumbling around with doubt.

And it was also the truth that God fed me with when the unexpected refund check showed up in the mail and the sweet card and blessing from my parents graced our doorstep.

Do not depend on your own understanding.

When I turned my eyes from my own path, let Him work things out and took my hands off of it, and didn’t depend on my own understanding, His peace came. The answer came. It wasn’t in my timing, which is always so much better anyway.

So the next time a branch falls on your car, or whatever event takes place that shakes up your world, just remember to look beyond the circumstances and…

Do not depend on your own understanding.


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