Mysterious Providence


(Today's entry in Come Ye Apart by J. R. Miller)

“What I do thou knowest not now; but thou shalt know hereafter.”

John 13:7


Like many other words of Christ, this saying of His has a much wider application than its primary reference to Peter’s perplexity. It furnishes the key to very many of the providences of all our lives. We do not understand them at the time. We do not see how they can have any blessing in them for us. They seem altogether dark. But we have no right to judge of our Master’s work in us or with us until it is finished. “What I do thou knowest not now.” How could we be expected to understand all the Master’s great thoughts?

Yet this is not the end. “Thou shalt know hereafter.” This mystery is to be explained. This perplexity is to be resolved into the clearness of noonday. You do not understand now because you cannot yet see the end, cannot perceive the blessing and the beauty. The Master Himself knows just what He is going to bring out of each strange work of His, and therefore He is not perplexed. Then, He says that we also shall know hereafter. We shall see the cloud as it departs, glorified by the rainbow arching its dark folds. We shall see the tangles resolving into lovely grace and beauty.

Some time, when all life’s lessons have been learned,
And sun and stars for evermore have set,
The things which our weak judgments here have spurned,
The things o‘er which we grieved with lashes wet,
Will flash before us, out of life’s dark night,
As stars shine most in deeper tints of blue;
And we shall see how all God’s plans were right,
And how what seemed reproof was love most true.

What is the lesson? That we should trust God when we cannot understand His ways with us. No doubt love has planned them all. No doubt there is blessing in the outcome as it lies now in God’s mind. No doubt we shall see the blessing, too, hereafter.

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