They came on a chilly Friday night, walking up my driveway and onto the lawn while I was asleep. I was in ninth grade at a private Christian school-the kind of student who always had her homework done, participated in clubs and drill team, and looked forward to the Bible classes that so many others wished they could avoid. I blended into the crowd, and enjoyed my friends. That’s why the hateful act in the early hours of the morning seemed so misplaced.
I’m not sure who noticed it first. My older brother, who attended a different school, and my father, could probably tell me-but I never asked. They set to work immediately, pulling down the toilet paper, washing away the words scrawled on the driveway. Words that were filled with hate and cruelty.
I went to school on Monday as if nothing had ever happened. I interacted with my friends, and apparently, my enemies.
My demeanor was not downcast or wilted. I kept my head high, my smile seemed genuine, and if my attackers searched hard for a crack in my armor, they wouldn’t find it. Monday was a disappointment to them. The joy they most likely wanted to take in hurting another-a bully’s favorite pastime, fell flat.
But it wasn’t because I was immune to their unkindness. It was because I was entirely ignorant of it.
I wouldn’t find out about the nighttime escapade until years later when my father accidentally let it slip. I pressed him for information, asking what had been hatefully written on my lawn. In his wisdom, he told me that it would do no good to know.
I left it at that.
My father saw the harm that someone intended for me and he erased it. He shielded me from it. And in so doing, he gave me dignity I didn’t know I would need and provided the best revenge-confidence to walk the halls of my high school on Monday morning. My father came to my rescue and preserved my emotions and my heart.
I often wonder what other ways I have been spared from harm and hurt over the course of my life because of my Heavenly Father’s discernment. How many times have I asked for something or questioned my circumstances or walked blissfully unaware down a path that was snared for me, only to escape a hardship unawares?
We don’t often ponder the ways that our wise and all-knowing God works behind the scenes to set into motion the plans He has for us to prosper us and not to harm us, to give us a hope and a future.
If there is something that doesn’t make sense in your life today, a question that plagues you about the journey you are on or the one you have had to let go, the best way you can show God your trust in Him is to be okay with the not knowing.
Not knowing doesn’t mean loss. Not knowing doesn’t need to haunt us. Not knowing doesn’t make us weaker. Not knowing is often a gift, a mercy, and a means by which we can be strengthened.
To this day, I don’t know what sparked a handful of my peers to set out to tear me down that night. Nor do I know any details of their mission. I never asked my father about it again. It wasn’t meant for me to know. What could have been a terribly sad attempt to hurt me, revealed to me how truly blessed I was to have a family that protected me. And that’s just like our Heavenly Father, God. He takes the warped and the ugly circumstances of this world and turns them for good.
If today, you would just like to know why you had to move for your husband’s job, why your child didn’t make the team, or why your days seem to run uneventfully together in the mundane, reflect on the knowledge that God is always at work on your behalf, often shielding you from your enemy, the devil, who seeks to destroy you. Thank Him today for all the ways He has spared you that you will never know about this side of Heaven.
And trust Him in His silence.
The fundamental fact of existence is that this trust in God, this faith, is the firm foundation under everything that makes life worth living. It’s our handle on what we can’t see. The act of faith is what distinguished our ancestors, set them above the crowd. Hebrews 11:1-2 (The Message)
YOUR TURN! Is it challenging for you to rest in the "not knowing" of how God is working behind the scenes in your life?
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