Friday, September 19, 2014
September 19 – God works in mysterious ways
Indeed, my plans are not like your plans, and my deeds are not like your deeds, for just as the sky is higher than the earth, so my deeds are superior to your deeds and my plans superior to your plans. (Isaiah 55:8,9 NET)
“God moves in a mysterious way, His wonders to perform; He plants His footsteps in the sea, and rides upon the storm.” These are the first lines of a poem by William Cowper who lived several hundred years ago. Beautiful words, but the first line is not found anywhere in the Bible though many quote it as if it were. The concept is biblical, only it is expressed differently in the Bible itself.
When people quote this parable it is frequently done in a sarcastic way, treating God as though He were unreasonably complicated and bureaucratic. They suggest that their logic and way of doing things are superior to His, that they would deal with people and manage the world in a more straightforward manner, and to their loss they insult the One who has the insight and knowledge to lead them to true happiness and spirituality.
Do we really want a god that we can completely understand and predict all the time? That god would not offer much help — his mind and insight would be on a par with our own, so what good would that do? When we can’t figure out what God is doing, when He is working in mysterious ways, either we are out of sync with Him and are not hearing what He is saying, or His plan is so much greater than the one we thought up that we are not yet able to connect the dots and figure it out. Either way, our response should never be sarcastic comments about Him, but an effort to seek His presence and trust in His superior wisdom, insight and power.
We don’t have to stop saying “God works in mysterious ways,” we just need to use it in a different way, and correct others when they use it improperly. “Mysterious” in this context should mean wonderful, better, superior, first-class, amazing. When we have this attitude of trust that God is doing something far better than anything we could ever think up, we demonstrate one of the highest forms of honor and praise to Him, and guarantee the fulfillment of that plan.