“We’ll understand this, all by and by…”

I often find myself asking God “Why?” And the longer I live the more I ask. Most of the time He doesn’t give me an immediate answer. Some may think pastors have all the answers, we don’t. Or at least this one doesn’t. Not even close. Something that’s helped me a lot—I’ve found that there are some important things I KNOW about God, that help me get through circumstances that I DON’T UNDERSTAND. For instance, I know that God is real. I know He’s powerful enough to do anything. I know that in Jesus I’ve found love and forgiveness that’s available to all. I know that He has a plan. I know one day He is going to fix all of this. And I know that I am not going to understand everything right now, but one day I will. When I can’t make sense of things, I have to ask myself if I’m willing to deny what I know because something I temporarily don’t understand? The answer is no. I won’t deny what I know to be true. I’ll trust the God I know, though the hard times I don’t understand, and wait for a day when He makes sense of it all.

There’s a newer take on an old hymn called ‘Farther Along’ that I absolutely love, by a super gifted artist named Josh Garrels. (Although I must admit, my favorite person to hear sing and play it is my son, Q Layman!) I seldom hear this song that I don’t tear up. It brings to mind the loss of loved ones, my own failures, the hatred and heartache that I see in the world—all of the things that I wish weren’t so, and that I don’t understand and don’t have answers for. Check out these lyrics:

“Tempted and tried, I wondered why

The good man died, the bad man thrives

And Jesus cries because he loves em’ both

We’re all cast-aways in need of ropes

Hangin’ on by the last threads of our hope

In a house of mirrors full of smoke

Confusing illusions I’ve seen

Where did I go wrong, I sang along

To every chorus of the song

That the devil wrote like a piper at the gates

Leading mice and men down to their fates…”

But this song also makes me smile and encourages me, because it also brings to mind so many awesome things I know to be true, even in the midst of darkness and difficulty:

“Cause I got changed by what I’ve been shown

More glory than the world has known

Keeps me ramblin’ on

Skipping like a calf loosed from it’s stall

I’m free to love once and for all

And even when I fall I’ll get back up

For the joy that overflows my cup

Heaven filled me with more than enough

Broke down my levee and my bluff

Let the flood wash me

And one day when the sky rolls back on us

Some rejoice and the others fuss

Cause every knee must bow and tongue confess

That the son of god is forever blessed

His is the kingdom, we’re the guests

So put your voice up to the test

Sing Lord, come soon”

And then, the song gives me an anthem to live by as I trust God with what I don’t understand. The chorus of the song gives me strength, encouragement, and perspective:

“Farther along we’ll know all about it

Farther along we’ll understand why

Cheer up my brothers, live in the sunshine

We’ll understand this, all by and by”

One of my favorite passages in the Bible tells of a man born blind, healed by Jesus. When the man was pressed about how he regained his sight happened he said “…I do not know. One thing I do know, I was blind and now I see.” (John 9:25) Man, I can relate to that so much!!! I don’t have the answers to all the “why” questions, but I’m comforted by what I DO KNOW. And, farther along we’ll know all about it. We’ll understand this, all by and by.

This was a long one for a fb post 🙂 Sorry of the typos and bad grammar. Thanks for reading, roy

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