Thursday, February 2, 2017

For the Days We Don't Understand

       I do not always understand the Bible or God. I have frequently ended my devotion time confused and frustrated.  I read something and I allow the tangled web that is my brain get it all mixed up and confused and before you know it I'm frustrated or worried because I either don't get something, or I've allowed my own understanding in and that has clouded the truth.
      What I'm starting to learn is that I will never fully understand the mystery of God, at least not until I meet Him face to face, and that is ok. I need to get comfortable with my not understanding. I don't mean that I should give up pressing in or trying to understand, what I mean is I need to come to the realization that it's a learning process and I may not understand everything right away or in the time frame that I would like. I'm also slowly starting to learn that when I don't understand something, I can't let fear and the idol of my own understanding come flying in, because the minute I let that happen I loose all sense of logic and end up taking steps backwards instead of forwards.
      As I was thinking about this this afternoon, I thought about how it relates, in a way, to a problem I often come across as a teacher. Occasionally, usually in math, we will hit a topic that for some reason my students just can't seem to grasp. It doesn't seem to matter how much I explain it or lay out the steps, I simply end up with blank stares or looks of dismay(long division anyone).
      I know that the best way to teach students a topic is to help them to understand the "why" of something, but I also have come to realize that there are days they may just not get the "why," but we still need to learn the "how." They may not yet grasp the "why" of how long division works, but we need to at least get the "how" so that they can begin working to solve the problems.
      I know that for myself, the "why" for a lot of math things didn't really click till I was much older, but I could do the problems, I had figured out the "how." When we hit these road blocks in the classroom, I tell the kids that for now they need to just trust me and follow the steps that I've shown them, and that we will survive the unit.
     Back to my struggle with understanding, I can apply this same lesson. When I hit a road block and don't understand, instead of freaking out(which doesn't help ever, be it the Bible or math) I need to lean back into trust and God's peace. Trust what I do know, trust the wise and godly people God has put in my life, trust that some day I will figure it out, or even if I don't that's ok, because God is so good and full of grace. It says in Philippians 4:6-7 "Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.  And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus." I love this verse for multiple reasons, one of them being that part about God's peace transcending my understanding. But I've got to be willing to let that peace in. 
      Well, a brand new day is upon us. Lessons and Adventures abound. Happy Thursday!

"Never stop learning, because life never stops teaching." ~Unknown 

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