Year In Focus: Thinking

8 “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,” declares the Lord. 9 “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, NIV)

Yesterday during worship we had a time of anointing and prayer. During our congregational time of sharing, a family member shared, from a broken heart, a desperate need of a family member. I felt nudged in my spirit to focus on the need, the individual, and the family.

As I began to pray, I sensed a childlike spirit—more like a self-centered, spoiled child wanting to demand my way. I didn’t understand what God was thinking, why he was allowing this horrible suffering and grief. My first thought was to tell God what he needed to do in this situation.

Now here’s one of the difficult things for me as I pray publically: even when I am aware of leading others to the throne of grace, I get there first and at times God starts working on me—and that’s what I felt happening.

Trust me.

But God…don’t you understand?

More than you’ll ever know.

So I don’t have to tell you what’s happening.

No. But I care about what you’re feeling. Go ahead and pour out your heart.

SELAH (Pause, reflect, and connect)

The truth is: we don’t naturally think like God or see things from his perspective. Can we? Will we ever?

I really don’t know to what degree we will, but here’s what I do know: God is in the business of transforming our thinking, maturing our understanding. And I know this because he tells me in his word:

Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will (Romans 12:2, NIV).

Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus (Philippians 2:5, Berean Study Bible).

Jesus extended this invitation to those weary from trying to “do” religion, trying to understand God—those who were ready to give up:

Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light (Matthew 11:28-30, NIV)

Is your situation confusing? Overwhelming? Having trouble finding the mind of God? Stop trying to make sense of things with your limited knowledge…trust the heart and mind of God. He is gentle and humble, and you will find rest for your souls.




I Just Don’t Think Like God

WP god's ways.jpg

There was a time, early in my ministry, when I felt like God was nudging me toward a position in a state far from home and everything familiar.

Nothing about the potential move made any sense at all.

My husband and I traveled to Wisconsin from Ohio, interviewed, and talked the long trip home about how God couldn’t possibly want this for us.

We couldn’t call the district superintendent until Wednesday. Three days after we returned home. We would wait and then tell him, “No thank you.”

But before Wednesday came Tuesday. On Tuesday night there was a missionary speaker. I was on the platform as music director and my husband sat in the back pew with our two daughters (ages 2 and 1).

Three times during the message the missionary said, “God’s ways don’t always make sense.”

Do you ever feel like God has to bang pretty hard to get something through to you? I felt that way that night.

I didn’t look at my husband the remainder of the service. We gathered our things and walked in silence to the car. We said nothing most of the way home and then all at once, from both of us at the same time, out it poured.

We both heard it. We both knew. We were moving to Wisconsin.

Because God’s ways don’t always make sense.

Christmas teaches us that. None of what God did, or used, or planned made any sense from our limited, human perspective.

Can we trust that even now, today, His plans may not make sense to us, but there’s a reason and He is beyond worthy of our trust?

I hope so.

Here’s one of my favorite Christmas songs that poses the question from Joseph’s point of view.

Scripture text to ponder and consider: Isaiah 55 

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