I remember having a conversation with a friend a few years back when she made the comment, "When I get to heaven I am taking a list of questions with me that I'd like some answers to."
I sat and thought about it and realized I really wouldn't. First of all, I hope that when I get to heaven I am so overwhelmed by the peace that surpasses all understanding, it makes understanding unnecessary. I hope there is so much love that all I feel is an overwhelming amount of trust – all the trust that I have lacked in this life – making understanding a moot point.
I strive for that kind of trust now. I try to put a blanket of trust over me to protect me from fear and longing. But I'm sure when I get to heaven and look over my life I will see immense holes driven into the fabric of trust that I'm not even aware of as I'm living.
So many people say as they are going through a hard time that someday they will look back and see how the pieces fall together. But I think a big part of trust is walking ahead in faith and being ok with never knowing. Never understanding. I think trust comes down to walking a path simply because He has asked us to.
I thought about it as I read the old story of Noah and his ark. Everyone thought Noah was nuts. I mean, imagine it in this day and age. Imagine me randomly telling you all that I was stopping my life to build a boat the size of Noah's in my dad's field. Just because I felt God calling me to.
People would be saying I had messed up my medication. People would be screaming about how the money could be better spent helping the tornado victims or paying down our national debt. People would be judging me, calling me names, ridiculing my religious beliefs and making assumptions about my political party status.
I would be a laughing stock.
Of course, we look at Noah and see that he was right. That it all worked out. That the rain came and he saved his family and God was pleased. Happy endings and hugs all around.
My question is this: would he have been less right if it never rained?
I don't think so.
I think it's about saying yes without the guarantee that anything will work out in our favor. I'd like to look at my life and hope good is coming out of my disadvantage. I'd like to think that because I am remaining faithful and joyful in this situation that good things will happen for me or someone else. We can all look at our lives and say, "Well, that was hard, but look at the good that came from it."
But I think Noah was the hero before a drop of rain hit the thirsty earth. I think he said yes for no reason other than God commanded him. And I am going to think of Noah's decision before the rain every time I have a hard decision to make. Every time I start to get weary of living a difficult life. Every time I long or wish for different.
I'm going to think of the man on dry land who said yes regardless of the outcome.
Because we don't all live to see the rain. We don't all live to see the benefit. We don't all get to know if there even is a benefit.
But, if we really trust Him, our thirst can be quenched in the simple decision of YES.