The Hallway of Life

From Paul Tripp Ministries

When our children were young, with little understanding of life and its dangers, I would have to say, “No” or “Not yet” to them, even though I knew they didn’t have the capacity to understand why.

They would be understandably upset and ask, “Daddy, why?” so I would say, “Daddy would love to help you to understand why, but even if I told you why, you still wouldn’t understand.”

To try and ease their confusion and frustration, I would ask them more questions:

“Does your daddy love you?”
“Does your daddy want good things for you?”
“Does your daddy want to keep you safe?”

They would, sometimes begrudgingly, say yes. Which allowed me to say, “Then trust your daddy. Walk down the hallway and say to yourself, ‘I don’t know why my daddy said no to me, but I know my daddy loves me and wants what is best for me.’”

The long twisting hallway
of human history
is littered with
“If only”
“I wish”
“I should have”
“You didn’t”
“I will never”
“Why me?”
the endless catalog
of human tries
human cries
human hopes
human dreams
human longings
human attempts
to find life
in places where it won’t be found.
This hallway littered with
brokenness of every kind
is a long and winding
argument for the need of a
Humans were not designed
to walk this hallway alone
not designed to cobble together
life and hope our own.
We all wander around
looking for a Savior
even though
most of us don’t know it.
Jesus entered the hallway
with us
to do for us what we couldn’t do
for ourselves.
He joined our journey
to rescue us from the
danger we are to ourselves
to give us life
and to finally lead us

Since you and I aren’t privy to God’s secret counsel or informed by him as to what is coming next, we will always face confusion, mystery, and surprise. Even a solid belief in the doctrine of the sovereignty of God will not remove these struggles from your spirituality.

There is a creature/Creator line that we are unable to cross. Some things God has not told us and never will. Mysteries will enter our lives and trouble our minds that we will not be able to solve.

But the fact that God has not told us all that we would like to know is a sign of his understanding, fatherly love.

Rest for children is not found in figuring everything out, but in trusting their parents, who have it figured out.

Every loving parent does this with his or her children. If you are struggling with your finances, you protect your children from that scary burden, because you love them. If you are going through a tough patch in your marriage, you don’t lay that in your children’s laps, because you love them.

Loving parents keep many things from their children, precisely because they wouldn’t be able to bear the weight of knowing.

Rest of heart is always personal. Peace of soul is always relational. The fact that God hasn’t opened the door to the details of his sovereign plan to us indicates that he loves us. He protects us from what we would not be able to handle with our feeble minds and weak hearts.

God answers our desire to know and understand not by giving answers, but by giving us himself. So walk down the hallway of your life today and say, “There are many things I don’t understand, but I know my Father is in control.”

God bless,

Paul David Tripp

Reflection Questions

1. When was the last time you said, “No” to someone because you loved them and wanted the best for them? Why would saying yes have been harmful, or not in their best interest?

2. Is there currently a relationship where you need to say, “No” to the other person because it is most loving, but you are continually saying yes because it is selfishly easier for you?

3. When was the last time you wanted something, but for reasons that still may not have been revealed to you, God said, “No” or “Not yet”? How did you respond in the moment? Are you still struggling to not get your way?

4. How has God revealed his existence, power, authority, wisdom, and love for you? How does this comfort you when you are confused by what he has chosen not to reveal? Be specific.

5. Who do you know who is struggling right now? How can you practically serve them and alleviate some of their physical burdens? How can you minister to them with the truths contained in the Word of God?

The Hallway of Life

New Hope Presbyterian Church Bridgeton, NJ

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