We are so freakishly quick to judge by appearances, and to assume that we are qualified to determine the reasons for our own and others’ experiences. When “bad” things happen, we assume it is the wrath of God; when “good” things happen, we assume it is His blessing. He is so much deeper than that.
When Paul, Luke, and company were shipwrecked, the good-hearted (they did, after all, provide comfort to a bunch of convicts) people saw Paul bit by a snake, they immediately assumed he was about to be punished by the gods. When he suffered no harm, they assumed he must himself be a god. (Acts 28:3-6)
People looked on Jesus and said “Isn’t this the carpenter’s son?” (Matthew 13:55) Jesus reminded them that a prophet is never held in lower esteem than when discounted by those who should know him (or her) best.
Jesus’s disciples saw the blind man and wondered if his blindness were due to his own or his parents’ sin. Jesus said that it was neither, but instead so that the work of God could be seen in his life. (John 9:2)
Samuel looked at David’s more physically appealing older brother Eliab and thought “surely this is the Lord’s Anointed.” God, however, made it quite clear that “…the LORD does not see as man sees; for man looks at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart.” (1 Samuel 16:7)
Lot chose the same attractive territory as the successful Sodomites (Genesis 13:10), and very nearly met the same fate. Abram took what was left, and trusted that God would ultimately prosper him in any circumstances.
When Paul and Silas were imprisoned and found themselves free to leave after an earthquake (Acts 16), they chose to stay in less-fortunate circumstances in order that the will of God might be accomplished through them.
Jesus appeared utterly defeated upon the cross, but His suffering was necessary to secure complete victory.
If only we could remember that He makes all things work together for the good of those who love Him (Rom 8:28), and that “For My thoughts are not your thoughts, nor 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)
- First Computer Bug
- Looking at the wind