13 They took palm branches and went out to meet him, shouting, “Hosanna!” “Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord!” “Blessed is the King of Israel!” 14 Jesus found a young donkey and sat upon it, as it is written, 15 “Do not be afraid, O Daughter of Zion; see, your king is coming, seated on a donkey’s colt.” 16 At first his disciples did not understand all this. Only after Jesus was glorified did they realize that these things had been written about him and that they had done these things to him. (John 12:13-16 NIV)
What a difference “understanding” makes. In the Scripture I read this morning the disciples didn’t really understand what was going on at the time. After Jesus’ resurrection God caused the light to shine back upon their experience and they gained understanding that made it all make sense.
I’ve been through many experiences, some painful experiences, in the 50 years that I’ve been on this planet. At the time that I went through some of the painful experiences of my past I felt like I was in the dark. I couldn’t make sense of the situation. I couldn’t figure it out. I couldn’t see any purpose for the pain. With the passage of time God brought light into my darkened understanding. I can now look back on some of those painful experiences and I can see clearly what God was doing. I’ve learned some great lessons from some of the struggles and sorrow that I’ve endured in life.
There are other painful experiences that I’ve been through in life that for the life of me I still can’t see any purpose whatsoever. I’m not the only one who has ever struggled with finding meaning and purpose in pain. In the midst of Job’s struggle, when he was begging his friends to stop lecturing him and have pity on him, Job said,
25 I know that my Redeemer lives, and that in the end he will stand upon the earth. 26 And after my skin has been destroyed, yet in my flesh I will see God; (Job 19:25-26 NIV)
Job couldn’t figure out the purpose of his pain, but he was willing to stand fast on the promises of God. We all want to know, “Why?” Sometimes the answer will come with time, but there are other times that answers would not suffice and we must stand on God’s promises and say with Job, “I know that my Redeemer lives…”
Lord, help me to remember that I need You more than I need answers.