How Do You Teach Us?

Once I said to God, “How do you teach us?” And He replied, “If you were playing chess against someone who had infinite power and infinite knowledge and wanted to make you a master of the game, where would all the chess pieces be at every moment? Indeed, not only where he wanted them, but where all were best for your development; and that is every situation of one’s life.” — St. John of the Cross.

While I watched my grandsons cross the stage to receive their high school diplomas, I could not help but wish for both of them lives without trauma, disappointment, and sadness. I think we all want that for our children, almost as certainly as we know that life doesn’t work that way.

When I talk to groups and audiences about my own journey without maps, I am usually asked more questions about the difficult moments rather than the good. They want to know how did I survive “X” or walk away without bitterness. St. John offers a good answer. God often doesn’t give us for what we ask, but instead gives us what is best for our development.

I can certainly relate. Can you?

About the author

Webb Hubbell, former Associate Attorney General of the United States, is an author and lecturer. His novels, When Men Betray, Ginger Snaps, and A Game Of Inches, are published by Beaufort Books and are available online, in your local bookstore, or you can order autographed copies at When Men Betray won one of the IndieFab awards for best novel in 2014. Ginger Snaps Won the IPPY Awards Gold Medal for best suspense/thriller.


  1. Webb,
    I absolutely related to St. John’s quote. As I’ve grown older, I’ve come to understand that my most significant and most important moments of growth came as an outcome of difficult moments and life challenges that, earlier in my life, I would never have asked for and most certainly would have tried to avoid. Tom

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