“For My thoughts are not your thoughts, Nor 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)
One thing I never do is guess “what’s next” in my life. God has shown me, on more than one occasion, I will never truly know what His plan is until it is unfolding before me, and even then it may not end the way I anticipate. He moves us around, people in and out of our lives, changes situations and environments as He sees fit, in order to get us positioned for His final outcome. This is often called the detour effect – such detours always lead us to a place far better than we could orchestrate for ourselves.
The Best Blessings…
…come when we least expect them and often in forms we ourselves wouldn’t choose. Why is this? God knows what is best for us. Just like the scripture referenced above states, His thoughts and ways are far higher than our own, meaning He knows every outcome and reason for every thing, because He goes before us.
“I will go before thee, and make the crooked places straight: I will break in pieces the gates of brass, and cut in sunder the bars of iron..” (Isaiah 45:2)
The past year or so of my walk has been proof of this: So many things that could have completely torn me down, or made me stumble on my walk, instead taught me to lean and lean hard. These trials taught me to fast and pray in a way that drew me intimately closer to my Lord and Father. He said ‘trust me’, so I did. Through loss after loss and trial after trial, He walked me through all, while preparing the way for many, many unforeseen things.
Why? Firstly, because He loves us that much and He has a distinct plan for our lives. In order for us to reach the fullness of our calling we must experience much in order to seek deeper understanding, reach higher and hold on tighter, when needing to find Him. He grows us like seeds by dropping us in sometimes turbulent albeit fertile soil.
Secondly, we must walk through or be affected by certain conditions in order to open us up. A personal example is how God worked through me in relationships this past year. God gave me distinct words and direction. He expected things of me that were extremely uncomfortable and downright difficult. Through constant submission and obedience, God taught me valuable lessons, grew me spiritually AND tore down any barriers that surrounded my heart.
On the other side of this came deep hurt and betrayal, however, God would not allow me to isolate myself as I once would have, or stuff away anger and bitterness – I had to acknowledge how I felt, forgive and keep walking. I was to show grace, love and keep my peace (His peace). Then, after all was said and done, something strange happened…He began to bless me in amazing ways…and continues to. I asked why on one account, and his reply “I am restoring what the locusts ate.” (Joel 2:25) Over the course of the past two months, blessing have appeared from nowhere. It’s humbling and it’s taking away my ability to find words…God is simply showing up at every turn, in ways I never expected.
How? Being obedient and submitting to God’s will, praying my way through everything, and for everyone, He places on my heart, truly trusting the Holy Spirit for guidance and Jesus for mercy in any weakness, are the only reasons I discern for this surge of abundance. This after a year of famine – which is what He showed me I walked through and for what purpose: His purpose plus my continual conversion and sanctification.
“…unless you are converted and become as little children, you will by no means enter the kingdom of heaven.” (Matthew 18:3)
Blessings, In Many Forms…
I have fallen to my knees in tears, asking why He entrusts me to be the vessel of His love, in the lives of so many people…this I will never understand, nor are we meant to, for it is just how He calls us. But in an unexpected turn of events, God has placed a person in my life who does nothing but show me love, compassion, respect and adoration, day after day. He sheds the light of Christ on and guides me toward Him, constantly; encourages, challenges, yet also allows me to be exactly who God created me to be. Refusing to be a reason I ever stumble. I feel completely unworthy of this and honestly it takes my breath away, but I have been shown that God has used this person to bring deep healing to my tender and battered heart.
He has blessed me with unexpected gifts of many kinds, through people in my life; confirmation of this comes as he whispers into my heart in the moments I am in disbelief of yet another outpouring of love and favor. He answered a prayer regarding my job and how I wanted to be used by Him there, in a way that blatantly glorifies Him – and presented the opportunity. The day I realized what He had orchestrated (an article I was asked to write) I sat in joyful tears staring at a photo on my computer, sent for use in the article, of a rugged cross…that was all I needed to know.
This year has been one that has refined me by fire, burning off the dross; with the final conversion of my heart – emerging from hardened to holy. If we allow continuous conversion of our “selves” into His image and His plan for us, for HIS purpose, this is what happens. In My Utmost for His Highest, Oswald Chambers put it as such:
“God holds us accountable every time we refuse to convert ourselves, and He sees our refusal as willful disobedience. Our natural life must not rule— God must rule in us…To refuse to be continuously converted puts a stumbling block in the growth of our spiritual life. There are areas of self-will in our lives where our pride pours contempt on the throne of God and says, “I won’t submit.” We deify our independence and self-will and call them by the wrong name. What God sees as stubborn weakness, we call strength. There are whole areas of our lives that have not yet been brought into submission, and this can only be done by this continuous conversion. Slowly but surely we can claim the whole territory for the Spirit of God.” (devotional for December 28th, “Continuous Conversion” My Utmost for His Highest, Chambers, Oswald)
Through the trials and tribulations put forth before us, God knows both the outcome and how he will bless us. It is our responsibility to continually seek and do His will, in order to receive and carry forth our calling, for His and our greater good.