Through a Glass Dimly

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When I was a child, I used to speak like a child, think like a child, reason like a child; when I became a man, I did away with childish things. For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face; now I know in part, but then I will know fully just as I also have been fully known.
– 1 Corinthians 13:11-12

During some spring cleaning, I stumbled upon a principle that is true for both cleaning windows and navigating a crisis. While cleaning one side of the glass, it appeared I was removing all of the spots, until I viewed the pane from the other side and saw several spots I had missed. In the same way, when viewing our crises from this side of heaven, we miss much about the Lord and our trials.

In 1 Corinthians 13:12, Paul likens our understanding – and reactions – to children who don’t fully understand the adult world. When confused or frustrated, I admit I’ve thrown a childish tantrum or two (thousand). Paul’s statement is humbling – our grasp of God’s superior ways is partial and limited.

Now I’m not one who believes we should never ask why. Questioning is healthy and leads to much revelation of the Lord. During my battle with Stage IV metastatic melanoma, I often asked Him why. Still, satisfying answers were sometimes lacking.

Yet one super fine day in heaven, we’ll know God just like He knows us. Our eyes will be opened to unseen realities that we can only imagine on this side.

Until then, we can still love the One we don’t fully understand. We can still praise Him through pain and confusion. There is a strange sense of rest in trusting Him with our unanswered questions. And that’s an answer in itself – He will tell us everything soon enough.

So don’t fret if you “miss a spot.”

Lord, grant us the grace and poise to trust You even when we’re confused and hurting.

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