Don't Know; Don't Understand

Sunday, August 15, 2021
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Job 23:9 – I do not see him in the north, for he is hidden. I look to the south, but he is concealed. (NLT)

Some things simply cannot be explained because information is missing.

Complex sentences are composed of one independent clause and at least one dependent clause. Like my being dependent on my parents until I reached legal status, the dependent clause is dependent on the independent clause. An independent clause has all the elements that allow it to stand alone: subject, verb, and complete thought. Dependent clauses are missing the complete thought.

"When I was a young child" is an example of a dependent clause. The subject and verb are present, but important information is missing. If someone made that statement to me, I would expect more information. What happened when you were a young child? Since I don't know what happened, the clause is senseless and fails to communicate.

Job lacked information as well. He had faithfully served God, but now experienced the loss of practically everything he had — and with no explanation. God seemed far away. Job's questions received no answers. God had given him a dependent clause only, but He had not finished the statement.

Many things in life don't make sense:

  • A child killed in an accident because a parent was driving drunk.
  • Natural disasters that steal the lives and property of innocent people.
  • People living homeless because no one will offer them a job.
  • Cancer and other incurable diseases.
  • Family members not caring for their elderly loved ones.
  • Terrorist activity.
  • A spouse lost to depression or Alzheimer's.

Sin is the simple answer, but it doesn't always provide comfort. Knowing that sin is at the root of the sickness and brokenness of our world doesn't take away the grief that parents face in the loss of a child. Believing that God is love and is sovereign is a better path to follow.

Many things in life are unexplainable. Some people take comfort in thinking that God will answer all our questions when we get to heaven — but He may not. Peace and abundant living come from accepting that God is in control, that He knows what He's doing, that He acts consistently out of love, and that His plan is always best.

Don't let the unexplained things of life throw you for a loop. God has them under His control. He will give you the strength to endure and overcome, even when you don't understand.

Prayer: Father, when life happens in ways that we can't explain or understand, help us to believe that You are in control and that Your plan is best. Amen.

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About the author:

Martin Wiles <>
Greenwood, South Carolina, USA

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1 Comment

  • PresbyCan Feedback says:

    Thank you.

    Thank you, Martin, for sharing this encouraging devotional with us.

    All right, Martin! Grateful for your common sense mixed with faith and hope today. Thanks for writing.

    Very fresh Martin as it was my message last Sunday… dealing with ‘why(s)’ of life!

    Hi Vincent,
    Wow, what a story!
    This really touched my heart!
    God bless.

    Hi Martin: A remarkable devotional, one few ministers care to explain and one few parishioners can understand, me included. You’re to be commended for dealing with this issue head-on. Thanks so much.
    (Ontario, Canada)

    Going through this now, Cancer in son. This on top of pandemic, forest fires, smoke; “God has a plan” – really?
    Thanks for your meditation on the unexplained.
    Blessings and encouragement to keep writing,

    Merci Martin,
    The wise and crafty construction of today’s devotional is appreciated… provokes the effort of thinking… reminds believers in/of the Divine Author and the unfathomable meaning of the gift of life as we “see through a glass darkly”… recalls memories of high English classes.

    Hi Martin
    Provocative and helpful, as usual.
    I think in terms of receiving answers to our questions when we meet God face to face, I believe our questions will immediately be answered (or mute).
    Perhaps heaven will be such a wonderful place, we won’t be concerned about earthly matters?
    Just some thoughts…

    Hello Martin,
    Thanks for another of your in-depth and most meaningful devotionals. Yes, it is difficult at times to accept the things that happen in our daily life but when we have faith in our ever-present Lord, we know that the outcome will be for the best. The Lord’s planning and timing in answering our prayers is not always what we want but His reasoning brings the necessary results. Our Lord deserves so much gratitude for His loving and constant vigil in our lives. Blessings for these writings you contribute.

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