The Only Thing To Do When You Don’t Understand

Gold Brush Stroke

As a young mother, I figured if I poured out enough love on my children and set clear boundaries for them, they would obey with little resistance.

Perhaps a small consequence might be needed now and then, but for the most part, my charges would trust my judgment and direction. Precious little ones, answering my questions and requests with, “Yes, Ma’am,” “Of course, Mother,” and “I’ll get right on that, Dear Mom, because I’m sure you know what’s best.”

Something went wrong, however, between the “I love yous” and the “Thou shalts” and “Thou shalt nots.” And one day I found myself overwrought and defeated. 

trust when you don't understand

The Problem

I held the bedroom door shut, insisting through my frustrated tears that my toddler needed his sleep. On the other side of the door, pulling with his entire 28 lbs, stood my second son, unable to see the benefit of rest and resisting my every threat and promise.

At 2 1/2, Zachary didn’t fully understand the reason for my rules. Thus, his resistance.

I hate to admit that as an adult I find myself at times to be that tantrum-throwing, obedient-resistant, pull-on-the-door toddler.

As much as I love the Lord, I have my own selfish ambitions. I don’t always care or want to know what is best for me. I want what I want. Period! 

Other times, I simply don’t understand why the door should remain closed, so I keep pulling.

I love Romans 7:19, For I do not do the good I want to do, but the evil I do not want to do—this I keep on doing.”

It gives me hope. If Paul struggled with obedience and commitment to do what is right, then there is hope for my tantrums and resistance as well. 

My toddler son couldn’t comprehend why I didn’t open the door. He didn’t get why he had to wait until later to play. His understanding was limited to a 2-1/2-year-old mind.

When You Don’t Understand

With my finite mind, I often fail to understand the reasons for my “naps,” as well, so I, too, continue to pull on the door. 

Have you found yourself pulling on closed doors, doors that won’t open no matter how hard you pull? Are you desperate for a reason behind a stubborn door?

I know it is hard, but God doesn’t call you to understand. He doesn’t expect you to “see” His reasons. He doesn’t look for your agreement. Instead, He calls you to an obedience that comes from faith (Romans 1:5-6). The Lord wants your trust.

The King of Kings loves you. He wants to lavish His gifts on you. He wants the best for you. So He sets guidelines. He presents some “Thou shalts” and “Thou shalt nots.”

It’s not always easy to wait on the Lord. It’s not always easy to follow His guidance. Sometimes God just doesn’t seem to get it. 

Trust God

Oh, but dear Reader, He does! God is the only one who fully understands. And He loves you with an everlasting love. So when you find yourself calling out: 

I’m struggling here, Lord! I have all I can handle, God! How can anything good come of this, Jesus? Why won’t you open the door? 

Remember, you are not alone. He is there, and He does care. Let go of the door. Trust Him even when you don’t understand.

Remember, you are not alone. God is there. He does care. Trust Him even when you don't understand. Share on X

The Lord always opens the door at the perfect time—the perfect time according to His infinite mind, not our finite one. 

The Lord always opens a door at the perfect time according to His infinite mind, not our finite one. Trust Him! Share on X

“Trust in the LORD with all your heart,
and do not rely on your own understanding” (Proverbs 3:5).

Reflections: What door are you pulling on that you should let go of? Are you trusting God more than trying to understand His reasons?

Linking with Ann Voskamp at A Holy Experience in 2013 for my Joy Dare list for Multitude Mondays (#1704–1724, read them all by clicking here):

  • Surprise visit by big brother Jeff; Spreading woodchips in the garden; Full blooms of spring woodland flowers
  • Eating school lunch w/ 12-yr-old son–he still wants me to!; Sharing soccer cheering section w/ Mom & Dad; Night air
  • The Lord’s wisdom to keep my mouth shut when it will not help; Completed finals week for my son; BLTs–yum!
  • Memorized all of Romans ch. 1 w/ my 12 year old; Unexpected security; Little joys in the midst of “blah-ness”
  • Oriole singing outside my kitchen window; Appearance of Rose-Breasted Grosbeak, dressed in all his finery;Violet nibbles
  • Pill-swallowing fiasco w/ youngest; Ability to help w/ highschool dinner shows; Oldest finished his 1st year of college
  • Beautiful hanging plant fm my fab hubby&kids; Celebrating lives of 4 grads in our church; Mothers Day w/ extended family

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Also linking with the following wonderful sites:

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By His Grace,



  1. Ruth Rouchard on May 14, 2013 at 1:21 pm

    This blessed me today. Thank you.

    • Julie Sunne on May 14, 2013 at 9:29 pm

      So grateful. Continue to trust the Lord, Ruth. He won’t falter.

  2. Mary on May 15, 2013 at 2:13 am

    Thank you, Julie. I could relate to this post as a mom of a toddler as well as someone who yanks at those closed doors. Thanks for reminding me of God’s grace again.

    • Julie Sunne on May 15, 2013 at 6:45 am

      My pleasure, Mary. Enjoy those toddler years; they pass quickly–including the sweet sloppy kisses.

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Julie Sunne

Hello, I'm Julie, an imperfect wife and mother of four. Life in this broken world is not always easy. Yet, joy can be found in each day through the grace and mercy of the Lord Jesus Christ.

I find it's easy for our day's blessings to get lost in its happenings. But God's "mercies never end" (Lamentations 3:22) and His "grace is sufficient" (2 Corinthians 12:9).

May the posts and pages on this site offer you a measure of peace and encouragement.

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