His Ways Are Not Ours

Over the past 6-7 months God has shown me in unexpected ways how much greater His ways are than mine. I’ve been familiar with Isaiah 55 for some time now but hadn’t taken the time to analyze how my thoughts were different than Gods and then being repentant of my wrong views. Having graduated college in May and now finishing up my year long internship at Vision of Hope, I’ve had to start thinking about what the next phase of life is going to entail.

About a month ago, I wrote down my ideal situation for the next year.  Many of my thoughts revolved around finding a job. I didn’t want just any job but rather I wanted a job where I could make enough money to take care of myself and where I could feel important and be able to use my gifts and abilities.  I thought surely that God would provide me a job and housing since those are essential. When God provided me a part-time, minimum wage job I was thankful, for a period. But then I began to realize I still wanted more. I deserved more. Besides, I was a college graduate. I didn’t go to school all those years to work a job I could do without a degree.  I knew what I needed and I wanted God to provide.

I hope you can recognize the prideful attitude that was seeping out of my every thought. I wanted God to give me what I wanted and what I thought I needed. Rather, God has been helping me to realize how wrong my thinking was about life and about the things that I want and desire.

As I’ve begun to humble myself, as mentioned in James 4:6-10, I have started to see how beautiful God’s way is and how sinful my way of thinking really is.  This past week I had the opportunity to go spend a week in Missouri with my brother, sister-in-law, nephew, and newborn niece. I arrived at their house, burdened with the realization of my prideful thinking and my ever striving mentality. I spent time confessing to God how sinful my thoughts had been. I confessed that I had been disregarding relationships, His word, and my relationship with Him for the sake of demanding my own. Each morning I woke up praying that God’s will be done and my focus would be on serving my family.  This was the most peaceful and joyful week I’ve had in a long time. I was serving out of a heart that loved God and a heart that agreed that His way of doing things works best. What Isaiah 55:11,13 says is true, “You will go out in joy and be led forth in peace. Instead of the thorn bush will grow the juniper, and instead of briers the myrtle will grow.” When I admitted that God’s way was best and accepted that being the least of these is what is best, I saw how beautiful God’s way truly is.

Putting ourselves last, serving others, not having all the bells and whistles of this life does not make sense when compared with the American Dream of health,wealth and prosperity. But the cross does not make much sense either when we consider a holy God that took interest in and had mercy on the people he created that rebelled against Him.  He still chose to die for us and pour out immeasurable blessings on us despite how proud and self-reliant we can be.  God’s way is truly the only way, and if our thoughts are contrary to that then we need to repent and humble ourselves before God. I still don’t know exactly what the next year is going to entail.  It remains filled with uncertainty, but I have so much more peace knowing that God will provide what I need and that what He provides is what is best.

Dayna Sheldon