God Works in Mysterious Ways
Do you remember when Jesus told His disciples, "What I do thou knowest not now; but thou shalt know hereafter" (John 13:7)? Do you remember what Jesus was doing at the time?
He was washing His disciples' feet. How strange for their leader to bow before them and perform a chore normally given to the lowest household servant. It must've been truly mysterious to the disciples at the time.
Think about how strange the first communion must've been for those 12 men — bread, body? Wine, blood? Hmmm…
Now, 2,000+ years later, we can see how Christ's words were fulfilled — "You don't understand what I'm doing right now or why I'm doing it … but you will in the future."
I went through a six-year period where this was the Lord's message to me every day. I was praying for Him to bless my husband and me with a baby, but no baby came. I asked for a baby over and over and over … and the answer was always "You don't understand what I'm doing right now or why I'm doing it … but you will in the future."
I think about Joseph in an Egyptian prison, Job in sackcloth and ashes, Nephi with a broken bow, David running for his life, Elijah by a dried-up stream, the Anti-Nephi-Lehis getting mowed down by the Lamanites.
They didn't know why they were suffering at the time. They couldn't flip to the next chapter and read about how God rescued them, restored them, or brought good from their bad situation. I often wonder what it must've been like for them to be in the middle of the trial — not sure how things would play out, not knowing if God would really come through for them.
I think we've all been there to some degree -- thinking there are "mysterious" things going on in our lives and that our situation is difficult to understand, wondering what good could possibly come from the things that have happened to us.
Plenty of people offered me words of comfort when I was going through my trial. Many times, I didn't want to hear what they had to say, but now that I'm on the other side (miracle baby is now 3 months old!) I realize that those words of encouragement were true.
So, I'll pass along some of the things that those people told me:
- Turn toward God instead of away from Him.
- He is (really and truly) good — and he wants good things for you.
- All good things take time to bloom. Long periods of waiting are normal.
- You aren't at the center of God's plan. This delay, disappointment, or discouragement may be a necessary part of His grand design to benefit others.
- The times when the Lord seems farthest away are often the times when He's most keenly interested in your development.
I pray that we find comfort in the fact that God walks by our side as we take every step along His mysterious paths.
This article has undergone ministry review and approval.