“Lord, I just don’t get it!”
It had been a bad week. A really bad week. There had been challenging circumstances, to be sure, but honestly it wasn’t that kind of bad week. It was a bad week between my ears. It was a bad week in my thoughts. It was a bad week in my perspective. I felt like I couldn’t do anything right to save my life.
Finally, I settled down and was able to turn my face toward Jesus. But as grateful as I was to be gazing into those beautiful eyes, I was perplexed …
“Lord, I just don’t get it! When I look at you, I know you love me. In fact, I know you adore me. You accept me; you welcome me. You draw me back to yourself with no questions asked; no penance to pay. Your gaze holds nothing but love and comfort and grace. And I don’t just know it in my head—I know it in my heart. I know it in my knower. So what gives? If all of this is true—and I know it is—why do I still struggle? If your love transforms—and I know it does—why are there still areas of my life that haven’t been transformed?”
His answer was unexpected. It always is . . .
Why are you looking at what you think you are doing wrong? You just told me what was good, true, and right. I love you. You love me. Don’t focus on what went wrong, focus on me.
So I did. I let him love me. I let him encourage me. I let him comfort me. I let him strengthen me and restore me. I needed it—and he knew it.
But my questions didn’t go away.
A couple of weeks later, I was having a very different week. I was full—even overflowing. I was walking in hope and encouragement. My heart and mind were at peace–set upon him. In this place, without the slightest bit of prompting from me, the Lord began to answer my earlier questions.
I wasn’t seeking answers at that moment. But they came—boom, boom, boom. He laid out a couple of simple strategies and gently drew my attention to the things that had been distracting me and tripping me up for awhile.
Hmm. When I was troubled and seeking guidance—he gives me encouragement. When I was at peace and asking no questions—he gives me answers.
Could it be . . . is it possible . . . he did those things because . . .
That’s exactly what LOVE looked like in each of those specific situations?
This got me thinking. It got me thinking about how I love. And about how sometimes my love looks so different from his. When I love, sometimes I don’t “only do what I see the Father doing”–sometimes I do what seems natural and right to me. Sometimes I’m moving with him and that is the right thing to do, but sometimes it’s just what “feels” right to me and not what that specific person needs, in that specific situation.
Sometimes I . . .~ Talk when I should listen ~ Correct when I should comfort ~ Advise when I should affirm ~ Exhort when I should seek to understand ~ Remain silent when it is time to speak
Sometimes I just don’t get it.
Clearly Jesus knew and saw the areas that needed correction back when I had my “bad” week. But he gets me and he knew it wasn’t time. He knew I would be restored by comfort and encouragement—not correction. But when my heart was stronger, when I was ready, it was time for a different conversation.
God is love. Because he is love, he demonstrates perfect love each and every time I look to him. So isn’t it possible that the more I look to him—the more I set my face and heart upward and really look to him—the more I’ll grow in love? The more I’ll receive of love? The more I’ll learn how to love—in each and every circumstance?
I’m determined to find out. I’m determined to “get it.” Because in the end, when I stand before him on that day, I’m pretty sure there is only one question that will really matter . . .
Did you learn to love?
And when I know I can answer “yes” to that question, I’ll also know something else. I’ll know that finally …
I get it.
What about you? Do you get it? Have you learned to love?