“For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, declares the LORD.”
(Isaiah 55:8 KJV)
How many times have you tried to make sense of something that just doesn’t make sense to you? How many painful situations, circumstances, incidents, or disappointing truths (meaning reality) have you tried to process, adjust to, and accept? Well, if you are like most of us possessing a beating pulse…the answer most likely ranges on a scale from “many” to “a lot.”
Adjusting to life’s realities when they go against the grains of our wishes and desires can become challenging to say the least. We deal with a plethora of emotions; some more painful than others. It seems that there are some people who are better equipped to “role with the punches” more than others. Unfortunately, for me, I’m one of those people who don’t “roll” very well! For the most part, I am always feeling like a “square peg” trying to fit into a “round” hole….I take things to heart and seek out ways to mend or “fix” them….Well, “fix” it in ways that will help me to “accept” the outcome better.
But, that method doesn’t always work out well either. I have learned in my life that when I try to “fix” things, I usually end up making the outcome worse. Some things are simply over my head and I can’t do anything about it.
Even though both my husband, a retired Baptist pastor, and I are born-again Christians, we live on opposite ends of the spectrum when it comes to dealing with many of life’s issues. My husband is a very patient, non-confrontational person who believes that, “All things will come out in the wash.” Me…Personally, I don’t want to wait until wash day…I want it to be “fixed” now! I mean why can’t things just go my way! Why can’t people simply see things my way!! LOL!!!
Like many of you, I deal with some very painful and hurtful circumstances and situations that I just can’t fix… I suppose none of us are immune from such trials in life. Truthfully, disappointments begin in childhood. (Some more harsh than others.) For example…As a small child, I had a rocking-horse…remember those! My little rocking pony looked just like Trigger from the Roy Rogers and Dale Evans Show. So, I called him Trigger. Being an only child, I personified this horse (along with every other stuffed animal and doll that belonged to me!) into being my best friend and pal. Trigger always saw things my way and he was very protective of me from the woes and cares of a five-year-old! But, it came the day when my mother gave Trigger away to one of my younger boy cousins. I was completely distraught. How could she give away my imaginary best friend! I cried and cried all day until my daddy came home and whipped me for crying. As he whipped me, he told me, “Now, you have something to cry about!” My feelings simply didn’t matter. Actually, my mother was very keen about throwing my things away and keeping my closet cleaned out. I never knew when I left for school each day what would be tossed out when I got back home!
It wasn’t too long afterwards that my first dog, named Watch, got run over by a car and had to be put to sleep. I was heart-broken. Shortly after that, my grandfather died. A few weeks following his funeral, I was diagnosed with Rheumatic Fever. Not a happy time for a six-year-old…one disappointing, hard to understand, event after another. I suddenly felt as if everything that I loved was being taken away from me. Also, with the Rheumatic Fever, I was weak and tired and didn’t feel like running and playing very much…What was I doing wrong?
With everything happening around me, my tiny bedroom seemed empty without Trigger. He no longer stood proudly beside my bed watching over me at night. I imagined that my other stuffed animals missed him, too. Then, my real-life dog, Watch, was in doggy heaven, and my grandfather’s chair (who always sat at the head of the table on Thanksgiving Day) now sat empty. If a six-year-old can experience depression, I think I became first acquainted with it that year!
At nine-years-old, I was diagnosed with a blockage in my aorta-artery. I underwent invasive open-heart surgery. What a terrible, painful experience the surgery was. Even at fifty-five I can still recall how much it hurt to breathe under the oxygen tent for days following the surgery. Also, at ten-years-old, my grandmother died. It was the first time I ever saw my daddy break down and cry. During this same time period, I witnessed two of my first cousins to die; one at six-weeks of age from a lung infection and the other at three days old from crib-death. I was so badly saddened by their deaths. At the time, I was the only living girl on my dad’s side of the family. I had so looked forward to having girl cousins to play with. But, they were taken away before I ever got to know them. Once again, I suffered a feeling and sense of loss. Why did I keep losing the things I loved the most in life? I was simply too young to understand all of the events happening to me and around me.
As life goes on and we become older, we learn to adjust more quickly to “disappointing” truths and events within our lives. Our childish feelings mature. We also learn that there is Someone who is in control and His ways are not always our ways. As my own children grew up, it was hard for me to “part” with their belongings. I still have tokens of their child-hood stored away in our basement. I did the same thing with some of our grandchildren’s belongings. My adult children don’t realize that by my keeping some of their belongings is my way of showing them that I value and care for each of them. Thank goodness for my husband who helps to keep me balanced and not a horder and pack-rat!
As we grow older in the Lord, it’s by Faith in Jesus Christ that we not allow ourselves to be overridden and destroyed by the disappointing truths that happen within our lives. As we grow older, losses no longer simply involve around the putting away of treasured toys, but they become adult losses such as the loss of a friend, spouse, divorce, child, unfulfilled dreams, or financial losses….disappointing truths that many times change the course of our lives.
But, it is then that we deeply rely on God’s promise that His ways are “higher” and not always our ways. He sees things through eternal eyes…He’s the author and finisher of our Faith and of our lives. Oh, thank God for God being God!!!! I can rest in that blessed assurance through the most difficult of times.
Today, you may be facing “disappointing” truths in your life. What do I mean by “disappointing truth?” Reality…It is what it is….And, until God chooses to “change” it; if He does…it will remain what it is… Simplly put…Reality/Truth. So, take assurance in His words, “My thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, declares the Lord.”
But, I love this part….”As the heavens are HIGHER than the earth, so are my ways HIGHER than your ways and my thought than your thoughts. God says, “My word goes out from my mouth, it will not return to me empty, but will accomplish what I desire and achieve the purpose for which I sent it…You will go out in joy and be led forth in peace; the mountains and hills will burst into song before you, and all the trees of the field will clap their hands. Instead of the thorn-bush will grow the pine tree, and instead of briers the myrtle will grow, This will be for the LORD’s renown, for an everlasting song, which will not be destroyed.” AMEN, AMEN, AMEN!!!!!!! Even if our today may seem bleak and filled with gloom, we have a brighter future ahead in Christ.
Remember, God Loves you!
Lin T. Rollins, Author