It Doesn’t Have to Make Sense to Be True

Larry DuggerBy Larry Dugger7 Minutes

Excerpt from Unshakable!: A 40-Day-Guide to Overcoming Anxiety, Worry, and Emotional Distress by Larry Dugger (p. 103-108)


When they came back from the tomb, they told all these things to the Eleven and to all the others. It was Mary Magdalene, Joanna, Mary the mother of James, and the others with them who told this to the apostles. But they did not believe the women because their words seemed to them like nonsense. (Luke 24:9-11)

Jesus knows how a lack of understanding can be frustrating and at times, overwhelming. Today, trust him with the puzzle pieces still not fitting. Believe he knows how to put everything back together and is working to shift the odds in your favor.

Short and stubby, the bumblebee doesn’t look very flight-worthy. In fact, in the 1930s, French entomologist August Magnan noted the insect’s flight was actually impossible. He stated the law of physics simply doesn’t allow a creature of such disproportion to lift itself off the ground. Yet, the bumblebee can certainly fly. Its ability to defy basic aerodynamics doesn’t make sense, however, our little black-and-yellow friend can soar through the air with ease.

Trust me, I know. Once while clearing a pasture of rocks, I disturbed a bumblebee nest. I was stung over ten times before jumping in the pond! I wish August Magnan was there that day. We could have discussed the impossibility of the bumblebee’s flight while running for our lives.

When the women returned from the empty tomb with news of a resurrected Savior, it didn’t add up. Yet, it was obviously true. And it should have made perfect sense; after all, Jesus told them time and time again that while death did have the power to take him, it did not have the power to keep him. Perhaps, they remembered the violent way in which he died and thought, no one, not even the Master can recover from such an end.

Whatever the case, it’s apparent the disciples weren’t being very cooperative while going through what they didn’t understand. Even Peter, one of Jesus’s best friends and closest ministry partners, was puzzled by how life was unfolding. Luke was quick to point this out:

“But Peter jumped to his feet and ran to the tomb. He stooped to look in and saw a few grave clothes, that’s all. He walked away puzzled, shaking his head.” (Luke 24:12 msg)

As you move through life, you will no doubt experience seasons that leave you shaking your head. Unlike the disciples, who were warned about the approaching blackout, you, more than likely, will never see it coming. It will be a surprise attack. This wasn’t the first time the disciples had an opportunity to question the direction and teaching of Jesus.

Let’s face it, whenever Jesus was thrown into the mix, not much-made sense—yet it always turned out better than expected. From his virgin birth to his empty tomb, the question marks are piled high. During a blackout, two and two rarely add up to four.

How can you trust God with the future when the present is in such disrepair? There have been times when I’ve told God I felt like a fool for ever trusting him in the first place. While that’s hard for me to admit, it’s the truth. I truly believe you and I are at our most vulnerable when we lack understanding. God wants to help you make sense out of the things not making sense.

From the very beginning, the disciples thought Jesus would surely deliver them from Roman tyranny and set up an earthly kingdom—he would silence the Pharisees and prove once and for all he was God. That’s not what happened. Perhaps you feel like the disciples. You were headed in a good direction and felt positive about the future but suddenly the bottom fell out and now you’re struggling just to keep it together. You love God but you don’t understand him right now. You feel like you’re a victim of circumstance and a martyr dying for a cause you don’t even believe in.

You constantly ask yourself, “Why is this happening?” When life takes a turn, what if the detour is the route forward? I’m guessing you’re skeptical and have more interest in going backward than forward. After all, when you look down the road ahead of you, all you can see right now are potholes filled with pain and more valleys than hilltops. At least the highway facing yesterday was smooth at times.

If you feel that way, I pose an important question: Have you considered allowing God to use your detour? I can assure you even when you don’t understand and life isn’t making sense, God has a well-thought-out plan. Nothing shocks God.

He never looks down in wide-eyed amazement at the degree of your difficulties. He is never caught off guard by what catches you off guard. I’m not sure how often my name is mentioned in heaven. I am, however, positive God never says, “Did you see what happened to Larry? He’s never coming back from that!” On the contrary, I can hear God saying, “The lights went out on Larry today, finally an opportunity for me to shine!”

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Excerpt from Unshakable!: A 40-Day Guide to Overcoming Anxiety, Worry, and Emotional Distress, 2021 by Larry Dugger. Published by Fidelis Publishing. Used with permission.