Have you ever seen someone do something that was completely incomprehensible to you? They took some action or said something that didn’t make a single lick of sense, and the experience left you scratching your head and wondering what that was about.
You know, something like this:
I suspect that most often, we can feel that way about God.
There can be times when we experience something and we wonder why it had to happen the way it did. It’s not because of anything we did or said in particular. It’s one of the random happenstances that no one can control. Well, no human can control. And afterwards, we’re left scratching our head and wondering why on earth God would allow something like that to happen.
God’s ways can certainly be a puzzler, that’s for sure. There’s a reason why people like to trot out the old saying, “God’s thoughts are not our thoughts” in situations like that.
Thank God that He thinks differently than us.
Seriously. I’m so thankful that He doesn’t think like me. That saying about God’s thoughts comes from the book of Isaiah, and this is what the prophet has to say:
Seek the Lord while he may be found,
call upon him while he is near;
let the wicked forsake their way,
and the unrighteous their thoughts;
let them return to the Lord, that he may have mercy on them,
and to our God, for he will abundantly pardon.
For my thoughts are not your thoughts,
nor are your ways my ways, says 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.
We usually focus on those last few lines, about how His thoughts are not our thoughts or His ways our ways. And we get upset, because God doesn’t do things the way we want Him to.
But again, I say, thank goodness for that, because notice what He says first: we can return to God. He will forgive us and pardon us for the times we’ve done wrong, both to Him and each other.
I don’t know about you, but that’s not the way that I like to handle things when someone hurts me. When someone hurts me, I want to hurt them back. I want to hurt them harder. I want to make sure that they pay for what they’ve done.
That’s a pretty universal feeling among human beings. Oh, sure, we can sometimes shrug off a hurt or an injury, but when push comes to shove and we’re really hurt, we want that revenge.
Thank God He doesn’t operate that way. Thank God that His ways are higher than ours.
That’s why that old canard about God’s thoughts not being our thoughts is actually a great comfort. Yes, sometimes things are going to happen that we don’t understand. And yes, there may be times when we’re confused by something that God does. But most of all, we should remember that God’s thoughts and ways are always tempered by His great mercy and love.