A dear friend handed me two of her treasures to read and return. I know they are treasures from the way she tenderly caressed them then reluctantly handed them to me; two small books by the same author-Macrina Wiederkehr. Just yesterday I started reading Abide, a devotional.
The second chapter drew me- “Come to the water” based on Isaiah 55, one of my very favorite chapters. Macrina encouraged the reader to listen. “Listen, that you may live.” (v. 3) I did listen. I listened to what God needed to say to me this morning, as I’ve struggled over some unanswered prayers.
“For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, declares the Lord.”(v.8)
“As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.” (v.9).
Lord, I prayed, your ways are not my ways. Forgive me, Lord, for wanting such a quick fix for my precious friends. You know they need a job – so provide! But this morning you have reminded me of your truths.
As I looked at verse 8, “for my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,” I was led to Isaiah 53:6 – “we like sheep, have gone astray, each of us has turned to our own way; and the Lord has laid on him the iniquity of us all.” Oh, what a sinner I am, Lord, to ask you to grant my friends jobs right away. My sinful thoughts are not your thoughts. What I want for my single mom may not be what you want. What I think is an easy solution may not be your design for her growth of dependence on You; her character development toward You; Your perfect plan for her.
Oh, Father! Not everyone gets jobs at the same time! Not everyone got their power back on at the same time after the storm! Not every child in the class is “the most well-rounded nearly perfect student!” We are created in Your image; we are NOT robots, to act and receive in the same way as the other. You created us as the snowflakes in winter, each individually. No thumbprint, we are reminded, is like another. And so, not everyone gets a job at the same time.
Verse 9 says “as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.” Again, You took me to another related verse; Psalm 103:11 – “for as high as the heavens are above the earth, so GREAT IS HIS LOVE FOR THOSE WHO FEAR HIM!!” Oh, Father! Your love! Your love is deep and abiding and you know! You have all of my friends who are searching for work right now! So many. And they are yours, Lord. You have them. You have shown me this morning that you have them.
This morning, after having read through Isaiah 55 a couple of times and pondered those related references, I walked out to the front porch, looked to the eastern sky with the puffy white clouds in front of the piercing pink of the sunrise and knew in my spirit that the Lord does indeed have my friends who are searching for work. He has them. He knows better than this old sheep what is best for each of them. More importantly, His love is deep, high, vast, real, and eternal. Thank you Lord, for this time. I was altered. Open hands. Sweet release in to your hands, Lord. They are yours. Thank you.
So, I go out with joy and I am led forth in His peace! The mountains and the hills will break forth into song before me and all the trees of the field will clap their hands! Isaiah 55:12.