What I Gather About Understanding God


Fear not, Daniel, for from the first day that you set your heart to understand and humbled yourself before God, your words have been heard, and I have come because of your words (Daniel 10:12)

Each week we open our home for a gathering of friends sharing food and participating in Bible study.  This past week as we discussed the book of Daniel, we began to contemplate what it was about Daniel that made him the one chosen by God for such an extraordinary purpose.  I was led to Daniel 10:12 and was elated to find an answer to our question, although inevitably one question leads to more questions when studying God’s word.  Could it be that Daniel’s desire to understand the things of God, combined with his posture of humility were the elements that attracted God to Daniel?  (see my friend Mindy’s beautiful post about humility here)

Since this discussion on Thursday, God has been reminding me of some lessons He spoke to my heart several years back.  While I in no way believe that we can ever understand the depth, magnitude and complexities of God, I do believe that He is searching for people who desire to understand Him more.  I believe He wants to reveal Himself to us in profound, life-altering ways.  He has mercifully done this for me time after time.

In my early twenties I was dealing with some residual grief due to the loss of my father at 16.  I remember one day praying, or rather casting blame on God for taking my dad away from me too soon.  From somewhere deep within, I heard words along these lines….

How will you know Me as comforter if you do not grieve?

Woah.  I put that on the back-burner, not sure I could handle the implication of that statement.  As I walked on this journey a little longer with God, I found Him asking me similar questions.

How will you know Me as Provider if you never have to trust?

How will you know Me as Peace-speaker if you never face turmoil?

Then came the big one.

Would you know Me as Father the way you do if your earthly father still lived?

As far back as I remember I have said the prayer….. “God, I want to know You.”  I have whispered it in the dead of the night.  I have cried it out through sobs of broken-ness. I have shouted it in desperation.  I have sung it out with all that is within me.  I have declared it with joyful expectation.

Could it be that all along God has heard my prayer and has responded by revealing Himself through trials?  Could it be that I must be willing to endure, endure, endure before I will ever truly begin to grasp the greatness of God?  To truly understand Him as healer, must I face sickness?  Sure, I may believe He can heal.  I may have faith and know that is an aspect of His character.  But isn’t it revealed to me in a deeper way when He heals me or someone close to me?  To understand Him as Savior, don’t I need salvation?  To understand Him as Light, I surely must face darkness.

Looking at my life in this light lessens the fear of the unknown.  It gives purpose to the pain.  For what better reward is there than knowing Him more?  Can any of us ever be a Daniel without seeking to understand?  Can I ever fulfill my purpose in His kingdom if I don’t have a posture of humility, ready and willing to endure what comes my way…. knowing it may lead me even a little closer to Jesus?  God, I want to know You.  I want to know You as healer, deliverer, provider, savior, strength, light, comforter, guide, peace-speaker, FATHER… even if that desire takes me on a road of tests and trials.  Perhaps that road will be the very path that leads me to becoming an instrument like Daniel, through which Your glory is revealed to the nations.  Even if it doesn’t, knowing You a little more is enough reason to walk that road.

What about you?  Has there been a time in your life God has revealed Himself in a powerful way as a result of difficulty?  Would you trade that experience?  In what other ways do you seek to understand God?  As always I would love to get a conversation started with you!


  1. Heather says

    Rachael this is just what I needed to read today. I’ve had to take a step back at times and look at the trials I’ve gone through to see if God has had some plan in it all. I do believe that he places tests and trials in our path to strengthen us and grow closer to Him. I, too, want to know Him in a deeper way. Lately I’ve let those trials hinder me. Pastor preached Sunday about faithfulness. It really hit me hard. How can I “know Him” more if I can’t be faithful in the small, easy stuff. Thank you for your blog.

    • Rachael says

      Heather! Thanks for the feedback! I’m always encouraged when I take a step back (as you said), I can always see how God’s hand was at work somehow. Love you!

  2. Kathy Turner says

    You’ve reminded me of a time in my life when I questioned the trial that came our way.. When David Ball died – after so many years of people praying for his healing – I struggled with having faith to pray. We all prayed for a miracle of healing, right up to the day he died. The Lord eventually showed me that we had, indeed, experienced a miracle – David was not healed….but he was sitting at the feet of his beloved Christ – adoring Him – free of pain and suffering. There was another miracle the Lord performed – it was in my life. The miracle was the acceptance of God’s will for my life – without bitterness. Sadness? Yes. Questions? Yes. Grief? Yes. But I could still say “Blessed be the Name of the Lord”! The Lord identified the pain of Grief as an “exquisite pain”, because it was a pain the Lord ordained. It was my Savior who allowed me – wanted me – to experience the pain of that trial in order that His perfect will be accomplished. We pray so often for the perfect will of God in our life, but resist it when it happens. Let us trust that when those trials come, Jesus has beautifully orchestrated them .

    • Rachael says

      Thanks for this insight, Mom. My journey with dad’s death was similar. I still feel conflicted at times. I miss him and some days feel I would do anything to have him back, yet I don’t think I would change this process I have been through for anything in the world. After all, it has led me closer to Jesus and what could possibly be more rewarding than that?

  3. MK Whipple says

    I have been thinking about this post since the day it was up.
    It seems, that I too, end up with many questions after studying scripture. I write down a lot of them and God has always proved faithful to answer most of them. I believe He wants us to ponder His word and to question Him about it. David pondered the ways of God, too.
    When it comes Daniel, Moses, Aaron, and some others I am always struck by the level of their obedience to God. You know, God called them to things they couldn’t understand, but, they still believed Him, trusted Him and obeyed His precepts even when their lives were at stake. I find their level of faith to be extraordinary!
    One time God revealed Himself to me in a big way was when my father died. He chose to be silent. I mean, for the first time I had come to know Him, I could not hear Him. I knew, beyond any doubt that He was there, but why He picked this time to be silent, I have no idea. It’s crazy because it seems like the opposite of what He should have done. Though, who knows, what I might have said to Him and how it would have affected my heart if He did speak to me? All I know is His ways are perfect.
    God Bless,
    love reading your posts.

    • Rachael says

      I love how you testify that God has been faithful to answer most of the questions you have. I often find myself asking the question, then moving on without pursuing an answer. Thanks for your comment about the death of your father. I find the times when God is silent to be some of the most difficult. Those are times when I WANT ANSWERS! But as you say, His ways are perfect. Thanks for the comments. I love reading your posts, too!

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