It had to have been over 10 years ago now, but I still remember it like it was yesterday. Do you have memories like that, moments in time you simply will never forget? This was one of those moments for me.
I was sitting in my first “women’s Bible study” at church, surrounded by ladies who were old enough to be my mom or grandma, and I remember loving it. I had grown up in Christian circles my whole life, but never had I found myself in an environment like this before. Women of all ages coming together to the same table to study God’s Word. Women from all different walks of life with a common denominator: Jesus Christ. I loved it! I gleaned so much from those women, many of whom had been walking with the Lord for decades at that time.
There was one sweet lady in our small group that I’ll never forget. She was my grandma’s age, and she possessed a wisdom that was beautifully coupled with humility and grace, wrapped in a bow of love and joy. Sounds incredible, right? Well, she was just that. As we sat one morning in our study, she shared two verses with us out of the book of Isaiah, and these verses have truly marked me since. These were life verses for her. There was a truth within them that she clung to with every fiber of her being. And she shared it with us that day to encourage each of us to do the same—to cling to its truth and promise.
“For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,” declares the Lord. “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
At the time, she was going through something incredibly difficult. In one way or another, each of us at the table were. And instead of us all sitting around dwelling on our problems that we had no capacity whatsoever to fix or even change, she redirected our gaze back to truth, back to Jesus, back to an eternal perspective.
You see, you and I simply cannot fathom the whole picture of purpose and plans that God has for our lives. We can, by His grace alone, see glimpses of it from time to time, but our perception, our sight is but a fraction of God’s. We tend to only see a small piece of the puzzle. God created the puzzle, has already put every piece in place, and from where He’s sitting, it’s an incredible view.
He sees the whole picture. He knows what He’s doing. And He asks us to trust Him when we can’t see what He’s doing, when all we can see is our hardship, our mess, our inability, our doubt. This is why I love these verses so much, because they serve as a timely reminder to you and I on a daily basis that God doesn’t think and operate as we do. And thank God for that, Amen? His ways, His thoughts, everything about Him is above and beyond and just flat out better than us and our ways.
And because of this truth, you and I can rest in the unknown. We can cease striving in the uncertainty. We can trust His leadership in the waiting. When we can’t see through the clouds of the storms of this life, remember friends, Jesus can. And not only can He see through them, He’s got some good plans for us on the other side of them.