>Every day for school we read a chapter in a read-aloud book. Last week we finished Ginger Pye, a book about a young boy and his sister and the puppy that they worked hard to purchase for $1. They knew from the beginning that someone else wanted the puppy, and almost immediately after finally making Ginger their own, they began to notice that they were being followed by someone wearing an old mustard yellow felt hat. Sure enough, on Thanksgiving Day little Ginger disappeared. Immediately the person in the yellow hat, nicknamed Unsavory by the Pye family, was rightfully the prime suspect.
This is where the trouble really began. We as the readers quickly figured out Unsavory’s true identity, but the Pye children never really saw the light. Why? Well, they began to utilize their youthful and active imaginations to create their idea of the true identity of Unsavory. They began with a drawing, a representation of what they thought Unsavory looked like. Then each night they would draw cartoon panels of Unsavory and Ginger, making up stories of mayhem and adventure that could possibly explain the disappearance of Ginger. They very quickly convinced themselves that their drawing was what Unsavory truly looked like, even though they’d never seen his face. Consequently, all of the clues that pointed to someone they knew quite well were ignored! When Ginger finally returned to them, they realized that if certain events had not just happened to fall into place, they would have lost Ginger forever just from missing the clues right in front of them! And, it was all because of the preconceived notions that they accepted as fact.
Needless to say, this convicted me quite strongly. God speaks to me all the time. He sends me “clues” to point me to His hand on my life, things that bring His Word and His actions to light and help me see His will be enacted all around me. But, I have my preconceived notions. I have my ideas about how He works and how He doesn’t, and if the clues don’t fit in with those ideas, then it must not be His work!
Want an example? Okay, let me ask you a question. What’s your opinion on the idea of healing? When someone says that they were “healed” of cancer, your thought pattern probably falls into one of two categories. You might say, “Yes! See? Healing DOES happen! Okay, so chemo was involved, but in the end it is God’s miraculous hand that causes the healing to occur.” Or, you could say, “Isn’t it wonderful that God has given doctors the perfect wisdom and medication so they can use it even to cure such things as cancer. That’s how God works today – healing through the wisdom of doctors. We just need to pray that they have that wisdom.”
Whether it be healing or any other aspect of life, the problem is that God’s touch sometimes fits neatly into our thought patterns and sometimes it doesn’t. When it doesn’t, we are baffled and confused. We suddenly don’t know exactly how to pray or praise. We feel like we’re starting at ground zero and we realize with a great deal of shock that, were it not for the loving hand of God, we might have missed what He intended to put right in front of us!
I’ve been greatly reminded of Isaiah 40:28 which reads, Do you not know? Have you not heard? The Everlasting God, the LORD, the Creator of the ends of the earth does not become weary or tired. His understanding is inscrutable. (NASB) The NIV says, “His understanding no one can fathom.”
God sees things from a perspective we cannot even begin to fathom. We have one small bit of knowledge, and we fill in the gaps with our imaginations. But the truth of the matter supersedes our greatest imagination! When we see a need for physical healing on this earth, God sees the incredible truth that there is a spiritual realm we have no concept of, and the ramifications of healing in that spiritual realm are so vastly different from our physical struggles with illness. When we need financial provision, we see a limited supply of resources from which to draw, but our Lord sees His riches in glory. When we need a life touched, we see the tools available to us, but God sees a faithful servant living next door – someone we’ve never even met or conceived of – who has just the gifts needed to reach our loved one. And the list goes on.
Lord, please free me from my preconceptions. May I not draw an image in my mind of the way I think things have to be. May I instead follow You step by step, excitedly awaiting the next stage of Your eternal plan. May my mind begin to focus on the eternal rather than the temporal. May I rest in the peace and comfort of knowing that Your “understanding is inscrutable.”