The Ways of the Lord

“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

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Abba, Father, the Spirit within me rejoices in your sovereign rule over all people, places, and events. The wisdom with which you execute your providence is perfect. The knowledge that you are not only in control, but are also actively are guiding the flow of history with knowledge and purpose is a resource that you intend to provide peace and hope in my life.

However, Father, I confess that I struggle to embrace your ways. In my foolish finiteness, I believe that I have a better plan for my life and your world. Yet even you, Jesus, understand. Not the foolishness or finiteness, but the struggle. In the garden of Gethsemane, you knew the pathway of pain that lay before you in the cross, and asked the Father is there was another way. You knew the answer, but in your humanity, you manifested that you can empathize with having to willingly submit to the ways of the Father.

Willingly submit. That is a lesson that I need to learn. I need to believe that your ways are wise, full of eternal knowledge, and are perfect. Even if they involve the sins of others, pain, and suffering. Even if I do not understand. Even if I think my ways would reflect a greater wisdom. Forgive me for such arrogance and shortsightedness. I simply cannot fathom the contingencies surrounding every event, wind, tide and circumstance. It is a burden too great for me to bear, and is likely the cause of much of my stress and anxiety. I am trying to be my own lord and to wear a crown that only you can wear rightly and effectively.

You tell me that your thoughts and ways are far beyond my understanding. In fact, Paul asks the rhetorical question, “For who has known the mind of the Lord, or who has been his counselor?” I confess that I have wanted to provide my counsel. I have a plan for my life in my mind. A plan that is free of suffering and challenge. A life that is comfortable. A life that is free of having to believe, follow and rest in the ways of another.

So, Father, I thank you that “another” is not a distant, capricious God of fate, but rather is my Abba, the God of grace. Yes, you are my Lord, my master. But you are also my Father. So my prayer today is that you would enable me know you so deeply that I can trust you more fully. Empower me to rest in you as my Savior God to such a degree that I will be able to rest in you as my sovereign God as well.

Allow me to experience the gift of humility and submission. Help me confess the ignorance of my ways and embrace the wisdom of yours. Give me eyes to see you as the King, ruling and working all things for your glory and for my good, and ultimate joy. Let all things be means of grace in my life. All things. So that you might be glorified through all seasons of my life, whether that of singing and dancing or sadness and pain.

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