When You Don’t Understand What God is Doing

When you don't understand what God is doing. SmellingCoffee.com

It’s something we often wonder about, isn’t it?  Especially these days when so many are hurting, flooding, burning, and there’s nothing we can do to stop it.  Where is God in the midst of all of this suffering?

God answered enough of that question for me a little over seven years ago, when my family was going through our own kind of suffering.  Since then, I’ve often been blessed and encouraged by re-reading this timeless truth.

The reality is that we will rarely understand all that God is doing… But I’m praying that today God will bless and encourage you with enough of a peek into His ways as you continue trusting His heart of love for you, especially when you don’t understand His answers (or lack thereof) to the What and Why questions that may plague your present.

SmellingCoffee.com:dividerPost from March 2010:   “What are You Doing, Lord?”

Have you ever asked God this question?  I find that it’s often on my heart and mind these days.  And today, the Lord sweetly revealed part of the answer to that lingering ponder.

On Friday, the Lord gifted me with a day in the presence of a group of women who have faithfully loved and served Him for many years. Even though they wouldn’t call themselves by this name, many were what you and I would call “Spiritual Giants”. God called some of these ladies to blaze a Bible Study and Ministry trail that has impacted millions of lives. And others He called to quietly serve Him behind the scenes. All of these dear women are just living life, one day at a time, faithfully serving God right where He has placed them.

Every story shared, whether at the podium or around the luncheon table had the same theme: God’s faithfulness and goodness, and His blessings poured on us in, through, and sometimes because of our trials. These are just a few of the life situations that surfaced through casual conversation during the day:

  • A single mom of two sons, who never expected to find herself in this position
  • A mother of a precious seven year old son battling cancer
  • The mom of a daughter, who instead of celebrating an engagement right now is grieving an unexpected break up
  • A mother whose son and family has been looking for a job for over 16 months
  • A wife and mom who survived breast cancer
  • A woman whose husband had been without fulltime employment for 4 years
  • Several moms whose hearts are desperate for their children to stay on God’s path
  • And then there is us… unemployed, uninsured, and completely unaware of what next week holds.

Every story spoke of a trial, but each was told with an Undaunting JOY in the Lord and the assurance of His faithfulness and love. Through laughter and tears, we rejoiced in the Lord and in the awareness of His presence over, in, and around our lives.

I awoke with these beautiful women on my mind this morning, and as I thanked God for their joy, I just had to ask Him:
“What are you doing, Lord?
What are you doing in each of these difficult situations?
What are you doing in these lives?
What are you doing in our lives?”

Then I thought about you. You precious friends whose lives intersect with mine on the blogosphere. I thought about what I’m aware of that many of you are dealing with. And I realized that I don’t even know a fraction of the whole of it. So I wondered the same thing to the Lord about you, “What are you doing?”

This is the answer that came to my mind and heart:

“I’m teaching my children to trust Me. I’m teaching all of you to look ONLY to me. For your answers. For your lives. Because I love you, I’m drawing all of you to My side so that you will learn to joyfully walk hand in hand with Me for the rest of your earthly lives. I’m teaching my children that I AM, and there is no other, and that nothing can separate you from my love… no matter what!”

God knows our tender, earthly frames, and remembers that we are but dust. None of these trials that seem to overtake us have taken Him by surprise. God knows how wearisome it is to be troubled about tomorrow, so He tells us NOT to worry, and He teaches us to trust in Him and His love for us in that Romans 8:37-39 kind of way.

Yet amid all these things we are more than conquerors and gain a surpassing victory through Him Who loved us. For I am persuaded beyond doubt (am sure) that neither death nor life, or angels nor principalities, nor things impending and threatening nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation will be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”
Romans 8:37-39 (Amp)

Oswald Chambers had this to say about this passage and subject:

The bedrock of our Christian faith is the unmerited, fathomless marvel of the love of God exhibited on the Cross of Calvary, a love we never can and never shall merit. Paul says this is the reason we are more than conquerors in all these things, super-victors, with a joy we would not have but for the very things which look as if they are going to overwhelm us.”

Then he goes on to say one of my all-time favorite Oswald Chambers quotes:

The surf that distresses the ordinary swimmer produces in the surf-rider the super-joy of going clean through it. Apply that to our own circumstances, these very things – tribulation, distress, persecution, produce in us the super-joy; they are not things to fight. We are more than conquerors through Him IN all these things, not in spite of them, but in the midst of them.

The saint never knows the joy of the Lord in spite of tribulation, but BECAUSE of it… Undaunted radiance is not built on anything passing, but on the love of God that nothing can alter. The experiences of life, terrible or monotonous, are impotent to touch the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”

My Utmost for His Highest, March 7th

Undaunted Joy – that’s us, friends…. It’s what the Lord, because of His love for us, is working in each of our lives… not in spite of our circumstances, but because of them… when we trust Him.

{An Instagram pic from last year when hurricane Matthew left destruction in its wake… When we never dreamed about Harvey or Irma… or any other disaster faced over this past year.}

How thankful I am that Jesus is Lord over the literal and figurative storms!  I’m praying for you, my dear SmellingCoffee.com friends~






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About SmellingCoffee

I'm a Jesus-loving, husband-loving, family-loving minister's wife and mom to two college kids, making our home and serving our Lord in the Mississippi Delta. I study, teach, speak, and write for the greatest Boss in the universe. "Faith, Family, Food, Fun, and Living Life brewed in the fragrance of the knowledge of Jesus Christ in every place": That's what you'll find at SmellingCoffee.com


  1. Thank you for sharing this inspiring message!