“When a train goes through a tunnel and it gets dark, you don’t throw away the ticket and jump off. You sit still and trust the engineer.” –Corrie Ten Boom
As we travel across the United States, we pray for divine appointments. What I mean by a divine appointment is an encounter with another person that God puts in our path – someone who either encourages us or that we encourage in some way spiritually.
Recently, as we were traveling, we stayed in an RV park. And as we were getting ready to leave, I took a shower in their public showers. I finished drying my hair, getting dressed and I was just about ready to leave when Teri walked in. We started talking and one thing led to another and before I knew it, she was telling me her life story.
I asked her if I could pray for her right there and she agreed and let me pray for her. As we talked more, I found out that Teri had layer upon layer of hurt and heartache in her life – wounds that were deep; issues that I will never understand. She had been sexually abused by her father as a young child. Not only that, her mother, who was addicted to prescription medications and drugs, gave her to her father to have sex with him. As she would cry afterward because of the pain and while her mother was cleaning her up, her mom would say hurtful things to her. These things left deep scars and deep wounds in her.
The amazing thing is that Teri wasn’t even supposed to be there at that time that day. She was actually going to go to the bank and had several errands to run, but felt like God told her to come to the RV park. I told her I believed it was a divine appointment.
We talked about forgiveness and how I will never understand this side of heaven why certain things happen. One of those things that I won’t understand fully is why this type of abuse happened to her and many others around the world.
One day as I was struggling to understand the answers to some “why” questions in my own life, God gave me a powerful illustration. He showed me that for me to try to understand “why” and figure out my life is like teaching a two year old physics and calculus. No matter how much you try to explain these subjects to a two year old, they will not understand it. Their brains are not developed to the point to fully comprehend these topics.
I believe in the same way, God has shown me that I’m like that two year old trying to understand why bad things happen to people in this world. There are certain things that I believe I will not fully understand until I get to heaven. Why? Well, because I still have a human brain. I am not God. So, on that day, as Teri and I talked about how important forgiveness is – even though she has every excuse and every right in the world to not want to forgive her mother for what had happened – that forgiveness is truly what will set her free and allow her to begin healing from the inside out.
We prayed together again. After we finished praying, Teri hugged me and I saw hope in her eyes. Even though I don’t have all the answers, I do know the One who does. He reminds me to bring my concerns, my questions, and the things I don’t understand to Him. He is able to carry them. Many times He does give us understanding and clarity this side of heaven, but when He doesn’t, like the quote I shared in the beginning of this post by Corrie ten Boom, “I want to sit still and trust the engineer.”
Shelley Hitz is the co-author of Forgiveness Formula: Finding Lasting Freedom, along with her husband, CJ. In this book she talks more about this topic, “when bad things happen.” Visit their book website to check out their full virtual book tour schedule and special gifts with purchase at: www.TheForgivenessFormula.com