Only God Himself knows how many times I’ve thought or said this aloud (mostly to Him). I’ve said it when I’ve experienced or watched unloving behavior and words from people who claimed to know Christ. I’ve said it when I’ve interacted with people who had walls around them that even God’s Word seemed unable to penetrate. I’ve said it when Christians and non-Christians alike continued to make the same bad choices, thinking the same wrong thoughts and getting the same negative results. To those friends and acquaintances, I have offered encouragement with scripture verses of life, power and authority that speak directly to their challenges—truths from God’s Word that have helped me with my own challenges through the years.
Sometimes I discover the complainers really don’t want help so whatever advice or encouragement I offer falls on deaf ears. When I know what God says about something and share it with a person in need, I hate to watch that person fail to grasp it or act upon it. But it happens, and it has caused many “I don’t understands” to accumulate in my soul and spill out of my mouth.
But God understands. He knows them and loves them more than I ever could. He knows everything about them—their hurts, their fears, their experiences and choices that have brought them to every crossroad in life, even the choices others made for them. He knows not only what they understand but why. He knows the people and circumstances that have molded their minds and the ones that formed their core values from babyhood. God knows their good, beautiful, bad and ugly. And He knows all this about me, too. Who else can understand us like God can?
There’s a scripture in Proverbs that speaks to my heart about the I-just-don’t-understand dilemna: Trust in the Lord with all your heart; do not depend on your own understanding. Seek His will in all you do (and remain willing to be used WHEN HE CALLS ON YOU), and he will show you which path to take (Proverbs 3:5-6 / NLT).
So it’s OK not to understand everything about everyone else—in fact, God expects it. All I have to do is seek God for myself, and when I am concerned about someone else and my mind forms that old (non-productive) thought, I recall God’s advice and speak it over myself and the source of my frustration, whatever and whomever that may be. And I pray for those people. I hope believers that DO understand the power of God’s Word will do the same for me if they see me struggling in like manner. It’s the least we can do for each other. God tells us to be salt and light in this dark world, drawing all people to Him, not trying to understand them. He’s got that handled already.
But three things I DO understand: No nut is too hard for God to crack. When people seek God for themselves, He WILL be found. And God’s Word in the heart of a believer changes EVERYthing.