“For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the LORD.” Isaiah 55:8
I am in company with the disciples as we walk to Emmaus after the death of Jesus. The conversation is full of tears and disillusionment, downcast faces and dashed hopes. They had walked with Jesus and had trusted. They had watched him heal and do miracles. They had even seen the dead brought back to life. Now it seems that they must have missed something.
Have you ever trusted God about a matter—your expectation of how he should intervene in a particular way—and then he acts in a contrary manner? You had prayed with faith, all for his glory, and then you discover God’s ways to be confounding.
Joy Dawson, New Zealand missionary, once preached a spontaneous sermon about Lazarus and Jesus’ nonchalant attitude toward his friend. Remember that Jesus got word that Lazarus was ill, and still he stayed in place. By the time Jesus arrived at the scene, Lazarus had been in the tomb four days. The miracle that followed far surpassed the healing the sisters had been expecting. Dawson asked her audience, “Do you want a healing or a resurrection?”
It would seem that we can be satisfied with a band aid rather than a display of God’s omniscience and divine power. We see the finite matter of our interest and conclude that this, yes, this is what God should do, rather than surrendering to God’s will. To the infinite God who sees and knows far more about every circumstance than our collective minds could dream. And God is able to do exceeding above all we can ask or think.
I’ve asked myself if I trust God only when he answers prayer to my liking or if I can let go of my hopes and trust him when I do not understand. How many people followed Jesus when the loaves and fish were in abundance? And how many were at the foot of the cross when Jesus was becoming the Savior of the world?
Could it be that we follow when we understand but are adrift when divinity outstrips our humanity?
Father, I ask your forgiveness when my faith is earth-bound. You are God, and I am not. Let your will be done. In Jesus’ name. AMEN.