For any unaware, God placed foster care and adoption on our family’s hearts long ago. We now have five children, we adopted our youngest daughter, who is a year and a half now, this past September from foster care then we have a 13 year old, 15 year old, 17 year old, and 19 year old. Yes, I’m aware of the gap!
I give all this for a little context because having a baby in the house has stirred much joy and of course, much tiredness, but (as I’m prone to do) I see spiritual parallels in her little interactions with the world and people.
She’s learning to be helpful, and she loves to help. One way is in bringing her plate and utensils to the dishwasher. She’s very self-encouraging in all things so after she does it successfully, she smiles and claps for herself. Job well done!
The interesting part comes the mornings she’s been awake when I unload the dishwasher. She gives me the strangest looks and will often try to take what I’ve put away and return it to the dishwasher. It doesn’t compute to her. I imagine her thinking, “You just had me put those things in there, why are you taking them out now!”
She lacks the understanding. The dishes were dirty and now they’re clean. They don’t stay in the dishwasher, they need to be put away. I could use hundreds or thousands of words to try to explain it to her, but she’s not going to get it. She needs time to grow. Her capacity to understand is limited.
How often do you get angry with God, or at the very least confused at Him, because you don’t understand what He’s doing at the moment? You followed scripture and His direction, but now it doesn’t seem like it’s going at all like you thought.
You don’t understand, and you think, “Well yeah! If God would just explain to me what He’s doing and how this all fits together, I’d be able to trust Him!”
There is direct correlation between trust and growth.
I realize like my daughter, there are simply times I cannot process or understand even if God were to use all the words ever written. I have to grow; I have to mature. That’s not instantaneous in our kids, and it’s not instantaneous in our spiritual walk either.
What’s the temptation when you don’t understand and God is doing things that seem confusing and counter-intuitive? You stop doing the things that help you to grow in understanding and maturity.
My daughter could misunderstand and decide, “it’s stupid for me to bring my dishes to the dishwasher because he’s just going to take them out anyway. I just won’t do it.” Then she would potentially miss out on having clean dishes to eat from.
Similarly, if I decide reading and studying scripture, learning to hear His voice, growing in my compassion for others, or so many other disciplines are not “working” and give up because I don’t understand the process and what God’s actually doing, I find myself stuck and at a great disadvantage.
Honestly, seeing this has given me so much hope because sometimes when I don’t get an explanation from God right when I think I need it, I can remember that it’s more than likely I wouldn’t understand at this point anyway!
Like my daughter, I can keep trusting my Dad, doing the things He tells me to do, and knowing that I don’t have to work it out. He will.