“For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,” declares the LORD. “As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.” Isaiah 55:8-9
I would have chosen an entirely different plan for my life. I think most of us would have. I had a different career, family structure, and location in mind as I headed into adulthood over twenty years ago. And while there are certainly some things I would have had to go differently, I can fully say that I am glad God worked His way in my life, so different than my own. His ways have been much higher, and much better, than mine ever could have been. I am so thankful His ways have won out.
I see several reasons God’s ways are better than ours:
Our view is limited- His view is limitless. God in His omniscience knows all. He is El Roi, the God who sees, and His lookout is high above the earth. The expression, “You can’t see the forest for the trees,” speaks to our limited view, but God is way above the forest and He sees all.
Our perspective is temporary- His is eternal. The God who set time in motion is outside of time in existence Himself. Therefore, His perspective is from everlasting to everlasting, from generation to generation. His ways move according to an eternal plan, not a temporary one which we create. He sets time in motion, and wills events to happen that will far outlast this life- all for His glory and our good.
Our purpose is local- His is global. We are prone to self-centered thinking, set on our own situation, wanting the best for us and for those near to us. Yet God’s purpose is to bring the world to know Him. He can orchestrate circumstances in a small village in Africa to coincide with a major city in Asia and a rural community in Montana.
I am the LORD and there is no other, apart from me there is no God, so that from the rising of the sun to the place of its setting, men may know that there is none besides me. I am the LORD and there is no other. I form the light and create darkness, I bring prosperity and create disaster, I the LORD do all these things. .. Concerning things to come, do you question me about my children, or give me orders about the works of my hands? Isaiah 45:5-7, 11
We are wise to surrender to God’s ways. He is the LORD, and there is no other. He is worthy of our trust and hope. We may look upon our challenges with our children and question His ways, yet He has proven Himself faithful. We will find lasting peace and increased strength when we accept His ways, and surrender to His working in our lives.
Sometimes it is helpful for my faith when something happens that is totally out of my control. A child runs a fever, my car won’t start, the dishwasher breaks, the school is closed. These are things not in my plan, but clearly in God’s. His ways are not my ways. His ways are better than my ways.
But God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise; God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong. He chose the lowly things of this world and the despised things- and the things that are not- to nullify the things that are, so that no one may boast before Him. 1 Corinthians 1:27-29
God’s ways are not like ours, and for that we can be glad. His wisdom is not like ours. His work is not like ours. And His worthiness is not like ours. Let us surrender to His ways as they work in our lives- and there let us find our hope.