Later You Will Understand. (John 13:7)


SEPTEMBER 19, 2018.


“You do not know now what I am doing — but later you will understand.” John 13:7

Peter could not understand why Jesus should so condescend as to wash his feet. It perplexed and puzzled him, and he shrank from submitting to it. Jesus said, “You do not know now what I am doing — but later you will understand.” And so it proved.

There came days afterwards when he understood it all, when he knew why his Master had done it — and when he truly saw beauty, wisdom, love, richest instruction, and divine necessity in it.

And the same principle applies all through life. There are many things in the providence of God which at the time are dark and obscure — but which the future makes them clear and plain.

The Lord lays us aside in the midst of our usefulness, he desolates our homes, he breaks our harp-strings, he pours bitterness into our cups of sweetness. Our lives are full of strange, perplexing things — and we do not know what they mean.

Our dim eyes cannot read the dark pages. Our dull ears cannot hear the voice of love that speaks out to us from every circumstance. Our heavy hearts cannot perceive the love which throbs with full pulse in every event.

But there will come a day when every dark page in our life’s history shall be explained — when all the tangle and confusion shall be unraveled, and the web shall lie before us woven through unto the end, warp and woof, with threads of gold and silver.

This word of Christ is the key to all the dark and strange providence in the life of every believer: “You do not know now what I am doing — but later you will understand.”

One reason for the present obscurity — is our ignorance, or present limited knowledge. We know now, only in part. We see now, only through a glass darkly.

Only fuller knowledge is needed to explain to us much of the mystery of our lives. In the cloudless light and perfect revelation of Heaven — every shadow of mystery will vanish, and the strangest providences will seem as plain and easy as childhood’s first lessons are to ripened and cultured manhood.

Another reason why many of the Lord’s ways seem so strange to us, is because we see them only in their incompleteness. We must wait until they are finished, before we can fully understand what God is doing.

Many a man learns submission — when the Father’s hand rests so heavily upon him that he cannot rise. Many a feature of beauty in the soul — is brought out in the darkness of affliction. The process seems to be destructive — but afterwards it yields the peaceable fruits of righteousness. Not at the time, but afterwards. When God finishes his work, it is beautiful and very good.

There was a time when the heart of Jacob was well-near crushed by an accumulation of adversities. Twenty years before, Joseph had been torn out of his arms and slain, as he supposed. Now Simeon was lying in a dark dungeon in Egypt, under the hand of a despotic master.

And now Benjamin, too, was to be carried away. In the bitterness of his soul he cried out, “All these things are against me!” But these things were not against him — God had not yet finished his work.

The final result had not yet been wrought out. All things seemed against him — but he lived to praise the Lord for all the strange providences which appeared so cruel at that hour.

These were but the crude blocks out of which God was building up a beautiful home for his old age, and with which he was laying the foundation of future greatness and glory for his family. They were links in a golden chain of blessing.

So it ever is, “You do not know now what I am doing — but later you will understand.” Wait until God has completed his work — and then all shall be well. You may see it even on the earth. Before you close your eyes in death — you may see the good brought out of the seeming evil of your life.

But if not, if you die with the mystery still unsolved — then one moment in Heaven will explain all. Then you shall see all things completed.

Then you shall see all the dark providences of your life carried out to their final result. You shall see both the discipline — and its blessing; both the affliction — and its rich fruits; both the furnace-fires — and the brilliant gold.

Prayer : My heavenly father , I know that my life is under your constructing process give me the grace to endure till the end and to wait patiently so that I will not be waste in Jesus Christ name.

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