His Ways Are Not Our Ways
History is “His story”. Even when we cannot fully discern God’s Hand at work, all events are in the Hands of God and “all things work together for good to those who are called according to His purpose.” We are quick to praise God when we are delivered from harm or difficulty, but we rarely thank God for the times of struggle and pain. Both are used by the hand of the Master to develop us and those around us for what He has planned.
For example, if we were sent to prison, we might be quick to ask God “why” and “where were You, God, when they came to arrest me?” But we have no problem reading the Bible verses of the imprisonment of Joseph, Peter, or Paul and never question “if” that was God’s will. Yet, in each of those events, God manifested His glory in the lives of those men. Because we have read “the rest of the story”, we can see how God used those imprisonments for His glory and the accomplishment of God’s will in their lives.
In other words, we are unable to see in the immediacy of an event that God is at work doing something in us. Once we are past the struggle or sorrow, we often see more clearly how God used that deep valley to show us new truths, pour out new dimensions of grace, and deepen our faith and trust in Him. What we did not see as we were going “through”, we saw clearly once we were on the other side.
Sadly, the roadway of life is lined with folks now on the “shoulder of the road” that quit seeking the Lord when they hit a major detour along the way. They are convinced that God either does not exist at all or does not care for them or “they would not have had such difficulty”. Their limited vision has blinded them from the magnificent Hand of God that is reaching out to lead them as He has done for those that continually seek Him and walk in obedience even when they cannot see clearly the reason for having to take that particular route. Because they did “go with God”, they have seen and experienced more than they would have ever gotten to do on their own. Those that came “through” now sing of the victories of our Lord.
One of the striking things about God in history is the way in which evil systems and evil causes begin suddenly to wither and crumble just when to the view of man, they seem to be at the very zenith of power and worldly strength and pomp. The Spanish Armada, arrogantly called the “Invincible Armada,” sailed out of Lisbon down the Tagus, bound for the coast of England, to crush that Protestant power; and invincible indeed it seemed, with its huge ships and its multitudes of soldiers and sailors and weapons of destruction. But he that sits in the heavens laughed. He held them in derision. The wind blew, and the Invincible Armada was scattered on the rocky coasts of the British Isles. The great conspiracy had come to naught. On the medal which was struck at that time the English stamped the words of the song of Moses after the overthrow of Pharaoh and his chariots in the Red Sea: “Thou didst blow with thy wind, the sea covered them” (Ex. 15:10). (Copied).