Sometimes because we are hurting, we fail to understand or see that others are also hurting. Or that they struggle just as we do. We tend to think they have it all together, are nigh on perfect, and have found the secret to living without problems.
It's easy to read the works of others and feel inadequate or unworthy. Some writers are more open about their weaknesses, but nearly always tell us how they conquered their issues and are now using their experience to build a ministry. We might grow envious or judgmental because we haven't come to peace and victory with our problems yet.
Our achy-breaky heart tries to tell us we must get everything right, or we are failures, or if we still have problems, we aren't good enough or smart enough. It leaves us feeling hopeless and sad.
I don't know about you, but I don't have everything figured out yet. And the older I get, the less I understand. And, I'm finding that the less it matters in some ways. Where would I find a need for faith or hope if I could figure everything out? If I had all the answers, why would I seek God? But I don't have all the answers, and neither do you. As a matter of fact, you won't find God requiring that of us anywhere! Instead, He calls us to trust Him, believe His Word, and walk by faith.
I think that is what Paul was saying in Philippians 3:12 - He hadn't apprehended everything. To apprehend is to capture, imprison, or gain mastery over.
Paul hadn't understood everything. But what excites me is that it didn't seem to bother him. Instead, his heart motivation meant he didn't let the unknown deter him from what he had already learned. Instead, he reached forward and pressed on.
Philippians continues with precious instructions on how to do that.
Be of the same mind - the mind of Christ.
Live in moderation.
Don't fret and worry.
Pray, and let God calm your heart.
Think about the right things - good things.
And then, do. Do what you know the Bible teaches, and there is the promise of God's peace in your life.
Philippians is full of more instructions on dealing with our achy-breaky hearts. And in every case, you will never find a command to figure things out, to be superficial or pretentious in how you live. Instead, there is an openness about our human frailty, the fickleness of our puny hearts, and a solid admonition to recognize God at work.
1:6 - He began the work; He will complete it.
2:13 - He works according to His will and for His pleasure in our life.
4:13 - He will strengthen and aid us to do all things.
4:19 - And He will supply all our needs.
Trying to figure everything out is a waste of effort; acting like we have it all together or are above human frailty reveals the pride in our hearts. I've found it best to bring my achy-breaky heart to the throne of grace and accept the balm of His love and forgiveness. And that is true for each of us.
Maybe those who look like they have it all together have already learned this secret? Perhaps we should too?