When We Can't Figure Out Why We Simply Have to Trust the One Who Knows
I didn’t want to mop. It wasn’t on my to-do list, not found anywhere in my plans for the day. But my daughter dropped the jug and sweet, sticky juice spread in a puddle on the kitchen floor. I huffed and I groaned and I found an old bath towel to wipe up the initial mess. Then I went to the closet and grabbed the mop. I didn’t want to. I wasn’t happy about it.
But sometimes we have to do things we don’t want to.
It’s funny. I tell my kids those same words when they complain about doing a chore or having to ride along to a sibling’s practice. I guess I’m preparing them for real-life (and reminding myself) because there are many times we have to do things we don’t want to.
We don’t get to choose whether or not we want to encounter struggles: untimely death, financial struggles, illness, relationship challenges, work-related problems, mental illness, suffering. Those things happen even though we don’t want them to. And sometimes, we can look for the silver lining. Sometimes, God will clearly reveal what He is teaching us through those trials. But sometimes, there seems to be no good explanation.
It’s just hard. The end. Period.
Mopping up that juice didn’t teach me some valuable lesson about having a happy heart (mine was far from it). I didn’t stand back and think, I’m so glad I faced that interruption because it gave me a better perspective. My daughter likely didn’t learn a lesson; I’m almost sure I’ll be cleaning up spills for the next 10 years.
And hard things in life are like that too. We can search for the lesson. We can desperately try to figure out what God is or was doing in the situation. We can rack our brains trying to pull out an explanation for why we had to do something we didn’t want to.
But sometimes, we won’t find any answers. And we have to be okay with that.
We have to give up on trying to be like God and make sense of a world that makes no sense. We have to trust that God is in control. His plans for us are good. And we aren’t meant to understand this one.
It’s just hard. The end. Period.
We’re not meant to figure it all out. I think that’s what God wants us to understand in Isaiah 55:8-9, “‘For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,’ declares the Lord. ‘As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.’”
Friend, if you’re stuck doing something you don’t want to do and you don't know why, can you just trust?
Trust that God’s thoughts and ways are beyond your ability to reason and make sense of things. Can you accept that His divine purpose is something you may not understand in this lifetime? Can you simply mop the floor—do the hard thing—even when you don’t want to?
God sees you. He loves you. And He knows something you don’t. Rest in the peace of knowing you weren’t meant to understand it all.
It’s so much easier to do the things I don’t want to when I know they have a purpose, when I understand the reason for doing it. But that’s what makes me human and You God—the fact that I cannot and will not know everything . . . but YOU do. Your thoughts are not my thoughts, your ways are not my ways. And for that, I’m grateful because your thoughts and ways are beyond my ability to understand. Holy Spirit, help me. Settle my heart and mind so I stop trying to figure everything out and simply trust You. Thank You for Your work in my life. Help me trust in Your purpose that is above my understanding.
In Your will, through Your power, and for Your glory,