"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
One day, my father and I had walked about two blocks away from our house, to a local park in Portsmouth, OH. As we were heading back home, we had to walk up a pretty good sized hill. As we approached the top of the hill, my dad asked me for a ball I had been bouncing and playing with as I walked. I handed him the ball, and to my surprise, he tossed the ball all the way down the hill. I looked at him in bewildered surprise and took off down the hill after my ball. I couldn’t believe he had done that, because that wasn’t like my father.
As I was still processing this in my mind, I picked up the ball. As I was turning around, I heard a very loud commotion. My dad was swinging a belt at a dog as the dog was barking and trying to get to my dad. He was yelling at the owner to call her dog or he was going to hurt that dog. She finally got the dog inside and I walked back up to the top of the hill. A police officer happened to be passing by, and my father stopped him. The officer told my father they had been called to that house before to deal with the ferocious dog and the owner was on her last warning.
After we arrived home, my father told my mother and I that he had seen the dog standing, tensed at the door, ready to pounce. Instead of frightening me, he threw my ball down the hill so I wouldn’t be bit by the dog or get in the way of the anticipated attack. It all made sense then and I realized my father wasn’t just pulling a mean stunt.
How often does God command things that look like they’re off the wall, or totally out of character for him? I wonder what Abraham thought when God called for the sacrifice of Isaac on Mount Moriah? I wonder what isn’t written in the book of Acts that was going through Peter’s mind when God showed him a sheet full of unclean animals and told him to slay and eat them? What was going through his mother Mary’s mind when she stood at the foot of the cross and saw her son dying mercilessly? What was the going through the Apostle’s minds when Jesus said, “ Take, eat, this is my flesh…?"
Sometimes it looks like God is acting out of character and at times His ways can seem cruel. However, God doesn’t just see the big picture, He is the big picture. His ways are not our ways, His thoughts are not our thoughts. He is often preparing us for something or saving us from something we don't have any idea is coming over the horizon. Just as my father saw the crouched dog, fixing to pounce, our Heavenly Father sees the devils of hell as they are about to pounce on us. When He puts us through something, when He tries our faith, when He allows a trial to come upon us, we can think it’s a mean stunt.
"Beloved, think it not strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened unto you..." -" -1Peter 4:12
God is often working out things we don’t even see. Don’t get upset with God over the process. I was miffed at my father at first when he tossed my ball down the hill. I thought it was kind of mean, but later on I realized it was a brilliant idea. With one action, he spared me some fear and a potential dog attack. He set the stage to deal with something that I couldn’t have handled.
Trust the Lord Jesus!! He knows what’s going on!