As I recall the past couple of weeks, most of it is flooded with tears. Death of friends and family members is taxing on the soul to say the least. My heart aches for my two friends (past CBC members) who lost their sons. These experiences lead us to think about the important things in life…making sure we tell those close to us that we love them…making sure our priorities are in the right order, etc. We also tend to ask questions (or at least I do)…”how does this play into God’s will?” or “will I ever see where the good is in this?”.
Then I was reminded in my quiet time this morning…
For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, declares 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
This verse was included in a very timely devotional about God’s plan and our part in it (and our perspective of it). The author was role-playing thoughts that Jesus’ mother, Mary may have had as she was packing up for the trip to Bethlehem…knowing that she was about to give birth. Something along the lines of “Why do we have to go now? I am so miserable…I want to stay and have my baby here with family around,” and so on.
But as the author of this devotional also pointed out (that Mary probably wouldn’t have been focusing on at the time), God’s plan is much bigger than what we see. He had orchestrated all the events to happen just that way…time of conception (of the virgin Mary) to have the baby born in Bethlehem during the census (according to the Old Testament prophesies), the shepherds who would be watching the sheep that night, and the people who rented all the rooms so there would be no room for them in the Inn, etc. All these things fell into place just at the right time…in God’s time…in His master plan.
Sure, it doesn’t seem like much for Mary to ask for a more convenient plan…but then she didn’t see the whole picture. And for these two hurting families, it is hard to fathom how the death of their sons can result in good…how it could be a part of God’s master plan. From my small earthly perspective, I can ask God to make me (and my friends/family) more comfortable, to fix my problems, to heal my hurts (notice a pattern here…me me me). But God is so much bigger than we can imagine. He created everything. He knows everything. He understands everything. He sees everything. He is in control of everything.
There is hope in knowing this. The hurt won’t go away this side of heaven, but for those who have found salvation in Christ Jesus, it is not a pain without hope. God’s plan will unfold, and there will be glory in it! How my heart yearns…
I know that my redeemer lives, and that in the end he will stand on the earth. And after my skin has been destroyed, yet in my flesh I will see God; I myself will see him with my own eyes—I, and not another. How my heart yearns within me!” Job 19:25-27