Have you ever had someone tell you something after the fact that you wish you’d known during the fact but likely couldn’t have faced that fact? Yeah, I have too. It often amazes me as to how God so strategically allows us to know things later because he knows we wouldn’t necessarily be able to handle it now. It’s not that the “who, what, where, when, and whys” of life don’t matter. They do and they serve a purpose, even purposes we don’t expect. Often, however, what matters most is us healing and moving forward without the sting of another blow, regardless of how badly we want answers.
A few months ago, in casual conversation, with no tea and no shade (Google it), a friend mentioned something to me that was shared by a mutual acquaintance regarding some matters affecting me. This friend said what was said very casually and matter-of-factly, as if it was assumed that I had already been privy. I wasn’t. I was as clueless as Alicia Silverstone in one of my favorite 90s movies. This was a question that had crossed my mind too many times as the situation unfolded years ago. I wanted answers right then and there. I demanded answers right then and there to no avail and finally tossed in the towel and kept it moving. I must admit, hearing it from a trusted source helped me digest the less than palatable revelation that had previously escaped me. I’ll also admit that I am a seasoned “why” seeker. Blame it on my degree in journalism or my time as an investigative reporter, but I needed answers when I needed answers. And so I’ve not been one to shy away from asking questions (a lot of them) to whomever about whatever in order to find out what I thought I needed or deserved to know. Sometimes that worked well for me. Other times it didn’t work so well or didn’t work at all.
As I sat there hearing my friend share this nugget of information my first response to this dropped bomb was, “What did you just say????” The friend repeated the statement, elaborated and shared more in detail. My final response after catching my breath from having the proverbial wind knocked out of me was to think, “Whew, I’m so glad I heard that years later because who knows how the old me would have reacted.” (Actually I do know exactly how I would have reacted which is probably why that little bit of important information had been placed on a delayed lay-away.)
That’s the beauty of life, and a true testament to how much of a real Father God is to us. He knows what we can handle and when. He knows what we can’t handle and why. He knows who He should use as the postal worker to drop off the package and be there if needed for whatever may come. He also knows how He’s working in us, and His amazing plans for us so He is not surprised, taken aback or even shocked when those things that He’s withheld from us for our sake, which would have knocked us to our knees in defeat now drop us to our knees in praise for the journey that we’ve overcome in spite of the known…and unknown who, what, where, when and whys.