This past trip we went on was a road trip! We left Friday evening after I got off of work and we headed south to Las Vegas, which is just over halfway to Los Angles from where we are in Utah. Because we left at about 6:00pm, we had maybe an hour and a half of daylight left before the sun set and our headlights would guide our way.
The drive got dark quick. Then we were blessed with a dense fog that slowed us down to 32 MPH and had us following a big truck because his taillights were all we could see. The drive down was quick-there was no traffic and after the fog we were cruising and excited to get where we were going.
A week later, we drove home to Utah on Friday. We left early in the morning so our entire drive was in daylight. At one point I told Zach, “Gosh I think I prefer the fog & dark. This drive is scary”.
You drive through narrow mountain valleys and steep mountain passes that you feel like if a swift wind came it would blow your car over & you would roll into the abyss. The rock formations are insane. Just huge rocks that have nets on them-okay, a net is going to save me from a huge falling boulder? Yeah right, but thanks, Arizona for the thought.
The drive home had me thinking about how if I would have seen all this scary stuff on our drive out there if I would have been anxious & scared & tried to persuade Zach to take a different way home.
One of my most frequent conversations with the Lord is, “God I just don’t get that.” Im constantly confused by what He’s doing. I’m often consumed with how dark our world feels at times. Or confused by a situation someone is in. Wrestling with thoughts like: “I just don’t see how He can make ________ beautiful. I don’t see how _________ is going to bounce back from that one. Where are you at God?”
And then in the midst of my ranting, I try to process it all out loud to my husband, and he usually replies, “We just don’t see the big picture, Elle. God does. God sees the big picture”.
And I think that’s what God was teaching me in the dark. I think God reminded me that I cannot (not even a little) handle seeing the big picture.
If God were to lay out… here’s whats going to happen next year and in 5 years here’s what your kids will look like and in 10 years here’s where you will live and oh by the way this is going to be a really hurtful and scary thing that happened and be prepared on this day to say goodbye to this person forever but then this day will be your most favorite day in your life thus far.
I. Would. Be. Petrified.
Overwhelmed. And anxious to live another day.
But God, knowing me fully as my Creator, (graciously) doesn’t lay life out like that.
When I was leading YoungLife we took our kids to camp for a week each summer. Anytime they would ask us what time it was we would reply, “10:46”. The schedule was a complete secret. And it was good because we did really cool, scary things at YoungLife camp. Repelling down rock walls, hiking 14,000 ft mountains, ropes course suspended between trees, zip lining into the lake, horseback riding, four wheeling, etc. The list goes on and on. We didn’t want them knowing what came next because they might chicken out or try to hide and not go, so when they would ask we would always lie or make up something or just ignore the question all together. They HATED it. But their faces, coming around the bend and seeing the horses they were about to spend the day with, or the feeling of making it to the top of the mountain after the hardest hike of their lives, or the look in their eyes when they’re handed the keys to the four wheeler. As if to say, “For me? Really?” That made the annoying questions worth it.
I don’t think God is in the business of hiding good things from His children, but I do think that His concept of time is different than ours. He probably hears my ranting questions and wants to reply, “10:46”. He graciously leads me and patiently walks with me while I learn how to be patient and what it means to trust Him more as His will unfolds. His plan is always better than mine, anyway.
In those moments when He does lead me around the bend and I see for a second what He’s doing I’ll stand awestruck and worship. But I also think that He has things to teach me in the dark, in the silence and in the wrestling and that’s why not all my questions have answers.
And I’m okay with that, because not seeing the big picture is one of the sweetest blessings God has ever given me.
“You are so young, so before all beginning, and I want to beg you, as much as I can, dear sir, to be patient with all that is unsolved in your heart and try to love the questions themselves like locked room and like books that are written in a very foreign tongue. Do not now seek the answers, which cannot be given you because you would not be able to live with them. And the point is, to live everything. Live the questions now. Perhaps you will gradually without noticing it, live along some distant day into the answer.” -Rainer Maria Rilke