They did not understand. 


The disciples couldn’t figure out what Jesus meant when he told them that he was to be “handed over to men” (Luke 9:44). But this wasn’t the first time—nor would it be the last—that the disciples “did not understand” Jesus (9:45). After he fed the five thousand, Mark says the disciples “had not understood the incident of the loaves” (6:52). When Jesus warned them against “the leaven of the Pharisees,” they were confused and thought he was talking about the fact that they had forgotten to bring bread with them (8:14-16).

Like the disciples, we face situations in which we don’t fully understand what Jesus seems to be saying or doing. In some instances, it may even seem like he is absent. This can happen in times of trial. But even in our everyday lives, we can encounter circumstances that leave us scratching our heads and wondering what God is up to.

How, then, do we reconcile our circumstances with our human desire to understand what God is doing and to keep on trusting him through it? Look at the disciples. They continued to follow Jesus even when they didn’t understand him because they already had a deep relationship with him. They trusted that he loved them and had their best interests at heart.

So lean into your relationship with the Lord. Honestly bring him your thoughts, feelings, and questions. Then try to quiet your heart and wait for his response. Perhaps an image, memory, or Scripture passage will come to mind assuring you of his love and faithfulness. Or you might experience a sense of peace.

Even if you don’t receive an answer or solution, keep going to Jesus. Keep opening your Bible, keep praising him, keep expressing your love to him. He will not be silent forever; he will respond.

At the time, the disciples didn’t understand why Jesus had to die. But eventually, the Lord revealed it to them—when he rose from the dead. May we, like the disciples, place our trust in our Lord and believe that in his perfect timing, he will reveal his plan to us.

“Jesus, I trust in you.”

Ecclesiastes 11:9–12:8
Psalm 90:3-6, 12-14, 17


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