During supper, when the devil had already put it into the heart of Judas Iscariot, Simon's son, to betray him, Jesus, knowing that the Father had given all things into his hands, and that he had come from God and was going back to God, rose from supper. He laid aside his outer garments, and taking a towel, tied it around his waist. Then he poured water into a basin and began to wash the disciples' feet and to wipe them with the towel that was wrapped around him. He came to Simon Peter, who said to him, "Lord, do you wash my feet?" Jesus answered him, "What I am doing you do not understand now, but afterward you will understand." Peter said to him, "You shall never wash my feet." Jesus answered him, "If I do not wash you, you have no share with me." Simon Peter said to him, "Lord, not my feet only but also my hands and my head!" Jesus said to him, "The one who has bathed does not need to wash, except for his feet, but is completely clean. And you are clean, but not every one of you." — Jn 13:2-10
Peter sees Jesus get closer to him, and he can't bear the idea that Jesus would wash his feet. This was something that servants did-- certainly not the one true Messiah! This isn't how it's supposed to be, and he can't understand it. But Jesus is patient with him. He tells him to trust Him now, and he'll understand later. Still, Peter can't wrap his mind around it. And Jesus respond: if I do not wash you, you have no share with me. Even in these two sentences, Jesus is living out what he's just told Peter: What I am doing you do not understand now, but afterward you will understand. You don't understand that when I say I have to wash you, I not only mean with this water, but with my own blood. I have to wash your sins clean by making myself the embodiment of all your sins, Peter. Otherwise, you can't be with me. You can't share in the riches of God's Kingdom without it.
A lot of life is just that: trusting Jesus in the now, and not knowing why until the after. I remember when I first started sharing my writing publicly. I had been emotionally devastated. I couldn't understand why the then-present circumstance arose in my life. But I had a welling up of thoughts and words and an absolute need for Jesus at the time. That experience forced me to take my pain, and seek Jesus with all I could muster, and I felt like I was supposed to at least share some of it with the world. It felt like the last thing I wanted to do, but I trusted that Jesus if it's what I was supposed to do, He would be glorified in it. And I couldn't have imagined the way that God would shape me through public vulnerability over the past two years.
Maybe it's something a whole lot braver than writing on the internet; maybe it's taking a risk to do something you feel entirely unqualified for and unprepared to do. Maybe it's something you didn't choose at a all-- the end of a relationship, loss of a job, an unexpected test result or illness. "you don't know why this is happening now, but you will later". We trust Jesus that his plan is bigger than our own, and his ways are greater than anything we could ever imagine.
Dear God, Thank you that you see the grander picture instead of our limited view. Thank you for the opportunity to trust you in the now, and learn the "why" later. I pray that we take those opportunities of trust as chances to truly thank you for how much greater you are than we can ever imagine. In Jesus' name, Amen.
Dig Deeper: What's the place where you are struggling to trust Jesus in the now? What's it going to take for you to believe He has a plan in the later?