My grandson Paul likes to dress up in his 6 year old sister’s clothes, particularly her tutus and tiaras. We hung out with the grandkids last weekend and one afternoon he was cavorting about in flouncy green gymnastics togs, waving his wand and acting princess-like.
“I’m Briar Rose, Nana.”
“Briar Rose, eh? Like in Sleeping Beauty?”
I remark about his short cropped hair and boyish ways, reminding him that playing a prince might be a closer fit, him being a boy and all.
Yes, there is a definite disconnect between the likes of Briar Rose and this little brown haired all-boy four year old in front of me.
They’re miles apart from each other.
Which is kinda how I’ve been feeling about God lately. Disconnected, disjointed.
Part of the dissonance is not being able to ‘hear’ clearly. I’m reading several different books right now–poetry, non fiction, two small volumes on Lent, four different devotionals and of course, my Bible. The only thing I’ve been doing consistently in The Word is memorize the 13 verses in Isaiah 55.
There are other ‘voices’ distracting me via too much screen time–Twitter and Facebook, Everyone Else’s wonderful blogs to read.
I also desperately want some Sabbath time alone-outside-away–anywhere to just be with Jesus, but it is not happening.
In the limited time I have I don’t know where to land or what to focus on, hence, the discontent. Ever been there?
Just this nagging, kinda ‘meh’ ickyness going on inside me, sin slowly sneaking in.
Then Jesus called.
I’d been mulling over the verses we were memorizing in Isaiah about God’s thoughts and ways being so diametrically opposed to ours, completely disconnected from the human measuring sticks that we use:
“let the wicked forsake his way,and the unrighteous man his thoughts;
let him return to the Lord, that he may have compassion on him,
and to our God, for he will abundantly pardon.
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 55:7-9
In the past I’ve often heard the phrase, “my thoughts are not your thoughts and my ways are higher than your ways” claimed as a proof text of sorts for a particular prayer request.
The words have been linked with the idea that God is going to do something amazing and far beyond what you could possibly imagine regarding whatever it was you were praying about.
But that is SO.NOT.IT.
The ways which are not our ways and the thoughts which are higher than our thoughts come directly after the Lord’s encouragement for the wicked to forsake his ways and the unrighteous man his thoughts.
In other words–leave your sin–and, wonder of wonders,
“let him return to the LORD, that he may have compassion on him,
and to our God, for he will abundantly pardon.
The Amplified Bible says,
“…and He will have love, pity, and mercy for him,
and to our God, for He will multiply to him His abundant pardon.”
My friends, when we’ve blown it, i.e. sinned, turned away from God for whatever reason, He will take us back without question.
My sin? Usually (at least this time) turning to other sources besides Him to fulfill me.
But when I turn towards Him even the slightest bit, well, His ways are not like my ways–I would make me do penance or something before we could be close again.
I wouldn’t have grace on me.
And I probably wouldn’t have grace on you.
But God. (Don’t you love those words?)
But God……speaks, through my husband and that little orange book, Jesus Calling. He suggests I read that days’ selection. I pick it up a while later and it’s like Jesus calling ME:
(From April 6th)
“I am pleased with your desire to create a quiet space where you and I can meet.
Don’t be discouraged by the difficulty of achieving this goal.
I monitor all your efforts and am blessed by each of your attempts to seek my face.”
Jesus is just pleased that I’m facing the right direction–towards Him–and that my heart’s desire is for Him, whether I ‘succeed’ or not.
That was such an encouragement to me. I was reminded of the words of the beginning verses in Isaiah 55–
“Ho, everyone that thirsts, come to the water,
he that has no money, come buy and eat.”
I am thirsty, I need living water, I am hungry, I need living bread. And it’s okay if I stay hungry and thirsty ’til the day I die. I will be satisfied and I will hunger again and I will thirst again and He will call and I will hear and He will receive me and abundantly pardon and I will hunger and I will thirst and He will call and just keep loving me ’til I’m whole.
It so doesn’t make sense ’cause, well, His ways are not our ways and His thoughts are not our thoughts.
And isn’t that what this season is all about?
Lent = Love.
Linking with Emily W. whose new book “A Promise in Pieces” is on my nightstand.You can get the first 3 chapters here for FREE.