God’s ways are not our own

One of my favorite “remember when” stories is when my daughter was 3 years old. It was our first Christmas in a new house and she was beginning to grasp the idea of Santa leaving presents on Christmas.

I walked into her room early on Christmas morning to find her sitting in bed crying. “Santa didn’t come,” she said. I didn’t understand until she looked around her room and said, “He didn’t leave presents.” We hadn’t explained where she would find the gifts, so in her mind, if she didn’t see them, there weren’t any. We showed her the gifts by the Christmas tree, and she realized Santa had come, just like mom and dad promised. He just left the gifts in a different place than she had anticipated.

How often do we do the same with God? We pray and read God’s promises in the Bible, but when we don’t see answers in ways that we want, we think our prayers go unanswered. We become disappointed, discouraged, and sometimes even angry.

The next year, my daughter knew right where to look on Christmas morning. She had no doubt that Santa would visit. In fact, she was so confident that if she didn’t find presents under the tree, I think she would have looked elsewhere for them, fully expecting to find them in a different place.

I want to have that unwavering confidence that God hears my prayers and keeps His promises. The Bible says I can—through faith.

“Faith is the confidence that what we hope for will actually happen; it gives us assurance about things we cannot see.” (Hebrews 11:1 NLT)

When we look back at how God has kept His promises in the past, we see that He has proven Himself time and time again. The Bible is full of God’s promises foretold and fulfilled. We have no reason to doubt that our prayers will be answered, even when the answers are not what we expect or want.

“My thoughts are nothing like your thoughts,” says the LORD. “And my ways are far beyond anything you could imagine. For just as the heavens are higher than the earth, so my ways are higher than your ways and my thoughts higher than your thoughts. (Isaiah 55:8-9 NLT)

God doesn’t work on our time frame, and His ways are better than ours. He has plans for each of us that surpass anything we can imagine. However, when we get stuck in our own expectations, we miss the surprises God has in store for us. Focused on the only way we think it could happen, we don’t recognize God’s unexpected blessings.

As Christmas approaches, will you join me in taking a fresh look at the past year? What blessings have been missed because they occurred God’s way instead of our own?

Laura Rath is a follower of Jesus Christ, wife, mother, writer, and works in church ministry. She continues to grow daily in her relationship with God and loves the faith journey she’s on. Laura hosts an online Bible study, using books relevant to women today, and welcomes all women, regardless of age, location, or religious background. You can find Laura at www.laurarath.blogspot.com.

3 Responses to God’s ways are not our own
  1. Sherry
    December 20, 2011 | 6:41 pm

    Yes Laura, I’m looking forward to the New Year. Right…the things you describe. When I look back I see a very patient God. Blessings!

    • Laura Rath
      December 21, 2011 | 1:23 pm

      Sherry, thanks for visiting and leaving a comment!

      Blessings on your Christmas and New Year!
      In Christ,

  2. Kellen Yang
    March 19, 2012 | 5:30 am

    Kellen Yang…

    Wonderful blog post.Really thank you! Awesome….