Take the Pressure Off: Having it All Figured Out
God never asked us to have it all figured out, and for good reason…
To figure something out, you have to first fully understand it. Think about Geometry, for example. The thing about most math subjects is that each lesson builds on the last. The theorems we learned last week have come into play as we worked through figuring out the problems in this week’s lessons. If the kids, or me for that matter, don’t fully understand the principles used to get to the solution, then figuring out the problem - correctly - is nearly impossible short of a very lucky guess… which wouldn’t count because they have to show their work ;)
There are a few places in Scripture where we are pretty much promised we won’t understand everything.
For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, declares the Lord. - Isaiah 55:8
The Lord operates according to His ways and thoughts, which are high above and beyond ours.
Jesus answered him, “What I am doing you do not understand now, but afterward you will understand.” - John 13:7
Jesus was speaking to the disciples here about what was to come regarding His crucifixion as He washed their feet. The encouragement in this is straightforward - you don’t fully understand this right now, but hang in there and it’ll make sense later. Ever heard that type of encouragement from the Lord? It’s a sobering reminder of Isaiah 55:8 if you ask me.
Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble. - Matthew 6:34
Here Jesus encourages us not to get caught up in worrying about tomorrow…not to start trying to figure out moments and days beyond the one we’re in.
I share all of that to say this -
The Lord tells us over and over again throughout Scripture that we will not fully understand everything; everything we face, everything He does, the way everything in life unfolds. That’s a promise. Yet, most of us often continue putting pressure on ourselves to figure out the details; figure out what God is doing, and the reasons why. Talk about pressure… we put pressure on ourselves to do something God tells us we won’t be able to do! (Much like the pursuit of perfection, really).
We do have the Word of God to guide us; to give us the wisdom to make decisions each day, and simply live. There are things we can know for sure about ourselves, our Creator and our Savior. But you and I don’t stop there. We start trying to figure out why we are where we are right now; why we’re up against what we’re up against; why that relationship didn’t work out; why God is guiding us to make a certain decision that opposes what we would have decided with our own reasoning. The truth is, we may have something figured out that aligns with God’s character, makes sense of the facts we have about our situation and makes sense in our mind according to what we know. And still, God may be doing something different for reasons we don’t yet know.
There is a place our understanding ends, my friends. God doesn’t ask us to keep spinning our wheels to find the answers when we reach that place.
>> So then what is it God does ask of us?
To trust that He’s sovereign, leading us with intention, and has it all figured out already.
The Lord may have promised us we won’t ever figure it all out, but He also made us a another promise we can rest in… He already did figure it out. Before the foundations of the world.
Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make straight your paths. - Proverbs 3:5-6
We all know these verses well, I’m sure. They’ve become coffee cup verses, which causes us to miss the profound promise within them. If we “show up” to life, and seek Him rather than trusting in our limited understanding of ourselves, our circumstances and the reasons God may be doing what He’s doing, He will guide us down the paths that Ephesians 2:10 tells me He already laid out for me.
He’s the one with all of time laid out before Him. I’m the one who sometimes gets tripped up in mere moments. I am done carrying the pressure of having it all figured out when God promised He already does, and all I have to do is trust that and walk with Him.