Recently, I saw a young friend whose current circumstances are full of uncertainty, yet her face radiated joy. As we talked, her words weren’t filled with a woe-is-me attitude, rather wisdom far beyond her years as she pointed out good mingled with the challenges.
In life, there are things that just don’t make sense—the death of a child, a young mother with cancer, a couple with simultaneous job losses, senseless violence and innocent victims. This list could go on indefinitely, but the point is many times things happen that have no reasonable explanation.
Here are some things to remember when life doesn’t make sense:
We See Through a Distorted Lens
Last month, my husband has had cataract surgery on both eyes. Following the first surgery, he talked about how much brighter everything seemed and how colors appeared different with the surgery eye than the non-surgery eye. Before surgery, his vision was distorted by the cloudiness of the cataracts. After surgery, improved vision changed his perspective.
When you’re going through something that doesn’t make sense, you view what is happening through the distorted lens of grief, shock, anger, uncertainty, or fear. Your perception is near-sighted, clouded by emotions, making it difficult to gain an accurate picture of your circumstances. As time passes, you are able to wipe away some of the fog and gain insight, but while you are in the middle of what’s happening, you can expect cloudy perception.
This Current Season Will Pass
When you’re struggling through something that seems senseless, it’s hard to realize your current situation isn’t going to last forever. As the days drag on without resolution, it’s easy to become discouraged and fail to see any sign of hope on the horizon. Don’t give in to despair. Realize current difficulties will moderate and you will adjust. The difficulties you are experiencing now are merely a blip on the radar screen of life.
We Learn in Times of Trouble
Perhaps the hardest part of walking through a season when life doesn’t make sense is being open and receptive to what you can learn from the experience. The emotions and urgency of your situation vie for first place in your thoughts and leave little room to focus your attention on gleaning the good kernels among the stubble. But try. Often you can’t grasp lessons learned until well beyond the season of challenge, but if you search for and find them during the difficult time, the wisdom and hope they impart will help you make it through.
God’s Plan Usually Differs from Ours
Most of us like to have some sort of plan for our lives, even if it’s loosely constructed. But our plans are rarely God’s plans. In our humanness, we make plans than do not involve hardship or challenge, yet without the hard seasons of life, we’d never feel the need for God. We’d stumble through life, running into one roadblock after another, confused, scattered, and never finding His best plan for us.
Many voices in today’s world tell you to trust yourself. Instead, trust God. Even when it doesn’t feel like it, God is in control and is overseeing all aspects of your life, even the challenging times that don’t make sense.
“We don’t yet see things clearly. We’re squinting in a fog, peering through a mist. But it won’t be long before the weather clears and the sun shines bright! We’ll see it all then, see it all clearly as God sees us, knowing him directly just as he knows us!” (1 Corinthians 13:12 MSG)