Jesus replied, ”You do not realize now what I am doing, but later you will understand.” (John 13:7)

Charles A. Tindley knew difficulties. Though not a slave, he worked alongside them when his father was forced to “hire him out” due to financial needs. Tindley served as janitor of the Bainbridge Street Methodist Church and fifteen years later became the pastor. He knew the difficulty of finding God’s will and preparing himself. He penned the hymn “We’ll Understand It Better By and By” during a hard place in his ministry.

Peter did not understand why Jesus wanted to wash his feet. Usually the host provided water, and the guests washed their own feet. A wealthy man would assign his servant to wash the guests’ feet. The host would never give up his dignity by washing feet himself. Jesus was the host at this supper. Peter and the disciples didn’t know what was coming, but Jesus did.

When a loved one dies, gunmen shoot innocent people, or a friend betrays us, we naturally ask questions. Jesus will always answer, though sometimes with, “You’ll understand it better by and by.” God sees the big picture. He saw Tindley’s difficulties, but he also knew that he would become a pastor, orator, poet, writer, theologian, social activist, progenitor of African American gospel music, and a prince of preachers. God knew Tindley’s church would grow to a multicultural congregation of 10,000. He plowed through difficulties with the knowledge of “Someday I’ll know.”

Listen to Jesus’ whisper, “Someday you’ll know.”

Pamela J. Kuhn’s favorite word is joy and her favorite place is anywhere that holds books and sells tea. Her husband, R. B., is an associate professor at Indiana Wesleyan University.

© 2020 Wesleyan Publishing House. Reprinted from Light from the Word. Used by permission. Scriptures taken from the Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV®.