For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the Lord. For 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
My daughter turned 11 years old last week. It’s difficult to believe and yes, time passes quickly, but that isn’t what this post is about. This is about the used iPhone we bought her (from Craigslist) as a birthday gift. After two days of activating it only to find it not working a few hours later, you can imagine my frustration when I walked into the AT&T store on that second day. Then, imagine my shock, confusion and embarrassment when the very sweet employee told me, “Mame, this phone continues to be disconnected because it’s marked in our system as a stolen phone.”
And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose. Romans 8:28
That’s right!! We had purchased a stolen phone! As my daughter burst into tears at the counter, the kind employee began clicking away at his computer to help us figure out how to solve this problem and get our daughter a new phone. As the tears began to dry up, I thought I would take our “waiting” time to drive a point home.
Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, Ephesians 3:20
I quietly explained to Emma that although I don’t like to use materialistic examples of how God works in our lives this was a great example of how God’s ways are higher than our ways. I highlighted the facts for her: she wanted an iPhone for her birthday, she received an older and used model. Then, we discover it was stolen and she ends up with a newer version and fresh out of the box iPhone. In the end, she received more than she expected and asked for. God works like this ALL the time. (Again, not in material things but just work with me)
Often we ask God for something we think we need, must have in order to be happy or simply desire. However, God’s ways are so much higher and His capacity to give and bless are so much more than we can fathom. When we don’t receive what we have requested or it looks different from what we imagined we may pout, get angry, wonder if God cares, is listening or even wonder what we did to deserve such inaction. However, if we wait, trust and pray we will often find (usually not as fast as Emma did) that there is something God has in store for us that is better than we ever asked for. His provision is perfect and so is His timing. No, it isn’t our timing and the definitions in our dictionaries for perfect differ, but if we trust and lean not on our own understanding, but His, we will gain more than we ever considered possible.
Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight.Proverbs 3:5-6