Regardless of how often I explained the concept, some continued to misunderstand and make mistakes.
Correctly punctuating compound sentences—or independent clauses—was one of the simplest yet most difficult concepts I taught in Language Arts. The rule was simple: when a coordinating conjunction joins two independent clauses, a comma must precede the conjunction. To claim an independent clause as such, it must have a subject, verb, and a complete thought—not just a verb and a few prepositional phrases.
And it was the latter that confused many students. Many would place a comma when the sentence was a simple sentence with compound verbs. Others would mistake the word “then” for a coordinating conjunction and place a comma. I spilled much red ink when correcting papers that related to correctly punctuating compound sentences. Although I explained the concept in every imaginable way, the rule often didn’t sink in. Their failure to understand cost them many unnecessary mistakes.
I also failed to understand concepts when I was in school. My misunderstanding was more in math than English classes, though.
And more worrisome is being misunderstood by others.
The psalmist was confident God understood him. After all, God had created him. He knew everything about him, even his innermost thoughts. “O Lord, you have examined my heart and know everything about me. You know when I sit down or stand up. You know my thoughts even when I’m far away” (Psalm 139:1-2 NLT).
Failing to understand a concept and being misunderstood by others aren’t pleasant. Both can lead to frustration. I’ve taught students who practically gave up, and I’ve known people who struggled with depression because others just didn’t “get” them.
Since God made us, he knows everything about us. He knows what things I struggle with—the complex subject, the unpleasant work atmosphere, the challenging relationship, the co-dependent friend, the addiction. He doesn’t have to hear us voice our frustrations because he knows our thoughts. He understands us.
There will always be things we don’t understand, as well as some who don’t understand us. We can live with that if our Creator is by our side, guiding us along life’s journey. He’s the friend who will never leave, always comfort, and forever understand.
Take comfort in knowing God understands when no one else does.
-Photo by Mike Setchell on Unsplash
- Devotions from Psalms Series: Lessons from a Waiting Room - March 11, 2023
- Devotions from Psalms Series: The Hiding Place - March 3, 2023
- Devotions from Psalms Series: Conquering Depression - February 13, 2023