“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.
Sometimes life just doesn’t make sense. Indeed, life is more mysterious than understood. But that’s okay! Really! We do not have to understand everything. In fact, it is probably best that we do not understand everything…. Now I’m not saying that ignorance is bliss; but I am saying that sometimes the unknown is best … a safe harbor for us. The unexpected can actually be a source of great joy … especially when we connect the dots and see the picture God has actually drawn out. Not “knowing” puts us in the position of exercising our faith … it requires us to trust God. And faith is the desired outcome of every context we encounter in life. Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for; the conviction of things not seen. (Cf. Hebrews 11:1) And without faith, it is impossible to please Him; for whoever would draw near to God must believe the He exists and the He rewards those who seek Him. (Cf. Hebrews 11:6)
So why this commentary on the matter of faith? Well, I think it has an intimate connection with our verse. What we think and understand is based on our limited, finite human knowledge. The thoughts of God are higher than our thoughts. How God operates is not determined by how we believe He should operate. I think of Job – when God questioned him:
Job 42:1-6 (NKJV)
1Then Job answered the Lord and said: 2 “I know that You can do everything, and that no purpose of Yours can be withheld from You. 3 You asked, ‘Who is this who hides counsel without knowledge?’ Therefore I have uttered what I did not understand, things too wonderful for me, which I did not know. 4 Listen, please, and let me speak; You said, ‘I will question you, and you shall answer Me.’ 5 “I have heard of You by the hearing of the ear, but now my eye sees You. 6 Therefore I abhor myself, and repent in dust and ashes.”
We simply do not know the beginning to the end. King Solomon observed:
Ecclesiastes 3:9-15 (NIV)
9 What profit has the worker from that in which he labors? 10 I have seen the God-given task with which the sons of men are to be occupied. 11 He has made everything beautiful in its time. Also He has put eternity in their hearts, except that no one can find out the work that God does from beginning to end. 12 I know that nothing is better for them than to rejoice, and to do good in their lives, 13 and also that every man should eat and drink and enjoy the good of all his labor—it is the gift of God. 14 I know that whatever God does, it shall be forever. Nothing can be added to it, and nothing taken from it. God does it, that men should fear before Him. 15 That which is has already been, and what is to be has already been; and God requires an account of what is past.
There really is no way to fully know all that God does or why He allows (permits) what happens in our lives. Many are the plans in the mind of a man, but it is the purpose of the Lord that will stand. (Cf. Proverbs 19:21) And we can rest assured that His purpose is for our good … even when we cannot see it. He is conforming us to the image of His Son. (Cf. Romans 8:28-29) We can be certain that He is perfecting our faith. (Cf. Hebrews 12:2) Indeed, there is no question that God will be glorified through all that He does. (Cf. John 11:4) So, let’s keep it all in perspective and submit ourselves to the Lord. (Cf. Isaiah 40:28)