I’m Not as Smart as I Thought I Was


Now we see things imperfectly, like puzzling reflections in a mirror, but then we will see everything with perfect clarity. All that I know now is partial and incomplete, but then I will know everything completely, just as God now knows me completely. —1 Corinthians 13:12 NLT

It was the middle of a hot, sticky summer night. I was about eight years old and restless in my sleep with just a sheet over me because of the heat. I dreamed that snakes were crawling all over me—and awakened with a start. To my horror, as I looked down at the sheet, those long, skinny, moving shapes were still there. When I moved … they moved. I. Was. Terrified. And then, as my fuzzy-headed, sleepy brain cleared, I realized that I was seeing the wrinkles and folds in a normal, snake-less sheet. And the nightmare thoughts left me. It was one of my first experiences of realization: Things are not always what they seem, and I was not as smart as I thought I was.

The older I get, the more I recognize how much I still don’t know. Paul’s comments in our verse above are so very true. We see things imperfectly here on planet Earth. Like my barely-awake brain saw snakes in the wrinkles of a sheet, we try to piece events together in ways that make sense, but we only partially see what is happening. As much as we want tidy and complete explanations that satisfy our desire to make sense of hard times, we just don’t see all that clearly.

We live in a world where evil resides. Motives are mixed. Bad things happen to people we consider quite good. Hurricanes decimate homes indiscriminately. Life can seem pretty chaotic at times. Paul likens it to a mirror that is not clear, where our faces look distorted and out of alignment. It’s a downright frightening place, this world of ours. However, the truth is that our faces are not distorted. The mirror just makes them look that way. And that’s the truth about our world, as well.

Despite our inability to see without distortion, there actually is a clear and planned purpose working through all the happenings on planet Earth. God is at work. He does have a master plan. And—joy of joys—someday we will see it all clearly when we are “face to face” with Him. Someday, we will know completely, just as God—right now—knows completely, as He works things together for a greater good than we can imagine.

I find great comfort in that thought. It’s humbling to realize and accept that I don’t have it all figured out. But it’s super comforting to know that I’m not alone. We all are looking through a distorted lens. It’s okay not to know. It’s okay to be left with questions. That’s the reality of being human and living in a fallen world.

The comfort comes when we discover there is One who does know. And He is good. It ends well for those of us who have yielded to Him, trusting Him with our present and our future selves. We do not have to be the smart ones with all the answers. We simply need to belong to the All-Wise God, who is able to guide us day by day and step by step through this kaleidoscopic world of ours.

And someday … He’ll take us home and all that has been murky and strange will be removed in the pure light of Heaven. No more wrinkles that look like snakes frightening and confusing us. Instead, we will know fully, and our mouths will drop open in amazement and awe. It will all make beautiful sense to us. And then? We will draw close in worship to the One who has always known and always loved us fully. I can’t wait for that day!

Father God, there is much that puzzles me. How thankful I am that You are my Rock and my Anchor in the midst of my confusion. Lord, no matter how dark it gets, I thank You that I am always safe with You. I thank You that what looks chaotic to me has a greater and deeper purpose because You, Sovereign God, are at work in all of it, drawing people to Yourself, saving us, loving us, and orchestrating all events for an ultimate victory and beautiful new beginning. I am not as smart as I used to think I was, Lord. I rest in knowing that You know. And that is enough for me. Thank You for the sweetness of belonging to You in these chaotic times. You are my help and my comfort and my greatest Joy! In Jesus’ Name, I rest, Amen.

You are loved,




Sweet Selah Ministries

To inspire a movement away from the belief that “busy is better”
and toward the truth of God’s Word that stillness and knowing
Him matter most—and will be reflected in more effective work and service

To offer biblical resources and retreats that help women pause (Selah)
and love God more deeply as they know Him more intimately (Sweet)

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Click over to our Donation page … and thanks.





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