My kids have favorite shows that we watch over and over and over, but sometimes – sometimes – I get them to watch something else. A couple of days ago, it was Curious George, and even though George would be in a heap of a lot of trouble way more often if he lived in my house, I still don’t have many qualms with him.
Well, this particular episode is where George becomes the Station Master at the train station while the real Station Master is on lunch break. He just has to keep the trains all in order so they come into the station on time. Easy peasy. But leave it to George, they keep getting mixed up. At one point, he monkey-talks into the radio to the Engineers, attempting to tell them he’s going to switch them around.
“What’d he say? Anybody catch that?” asks one Engineer.
“No, I didn’t get it. Did you understand him, Number 7?” says another.
“I don’t understand him,” replies the third. “But I trust him.”
Ok, now before I go any farther, I want to say this: I’m not drawing an analogy between God and Curious George. God is not a monkey who arbitrarily switches our lives all around and makes us confused. But I do want to say that the third driver’s comment struck a chord in me because often I have felt that exact same way.
“I don’t understand him. But I trust him.”
How often over the last several years have I felt that I completely don’t understand what God is doing or saying to me! How often I have sat here bewildered, looking at my circumstances and in no way comprehending the why or the how or the when! How often have I looked around me and wondered what the heck He is doing and how on earth could it even be good?
But my inability to understand my circumstances or what God is doing says nothing about His trustworthiness.
This morning, as those third driver’s words echoed again in my mind, I realized that many times when I’m in the middle of a confusing, stressful, or difficult time, I become forgetful. I see the ocean swell around my little boat, and I forget that the last time this ocean swelled, Someone met it with Peace. I see the miles of dry desert ahead of me, cracked and parched, and I forget that the last time we traversed the desert, Someone sustained me on Living Water. I forget that in the lonely darkness and bitter cold, Someone guided me with a Pillar of Fire.
What is it about hardship that blinds me to remembering the goodness of my God? I am so willing to call up a host of bad experiences or feelings from my past – hurts, rejections, bitterness – and yet I slim down on the miraculous interventions and works that God has done in my life.
I’m not just talking about the worst of the worst hardships, either. It’s those moments when I’m dealing with a second round of the terrible twos, and I forget that God lead us and directed us through the first round. It’s that feeling of overwhelm and exhaustion, and I forget that God consistently gives me peace in the moment when I ask Him for it. It’s that birthday party we go to, and I willingly take insecurity onto my lap and snuggle it to my heart like one of my children, and I forget that God has set me free from comparison.
It’s in the hardship of watching a friendship crumble away or a person I love pass away, and I forget that God takes my brokenness, carries me to a secluded place with Him, and He mends my heart. He allures me into the desert and soothes my soul.
Often, I don’t understand Him or why He allows my circumstances. But when I take the time to remember who He is and what He has done, when I ask myself who has sustained me and given me all the good that is in my life, when I look at who I am and who I would have been without His intervention, I can say this with confidence.
I may not understand Him. But I can trust Him.