DOUG CREAMER COLUMN: His ways are not our ways
Many of my readers know that I am a snow fanatic. It goes beyond snow, because I love all kinds of weather phenomena. I like to track storms and try to figure out what is going to happen. I study the models and try to draw my own conclusions.
When I was still teaching I would put my storm predictions out there for my students. I would also predict if we would have a delay or if school would be canceled. I had so much fun and my students looked forward to what I would have to say about approaching storms. They would also have lots to say if I missed it. I would take the ribbing well. I remember a colleague wrote a huge note on my board one day after I missed a prediction. I laughed and left it there all day for my students to see.
I guess I have been fascinated by weather and its unpredictable nature most of my life. My favorite weather memory is when I was in high school. The forecast was for some snow flurries. The flurries started as predicted, but they kept coming, until two days later we had snow drifts taller than houses and buildings. Mother Nature remains unpredictable at times.
The truth is that God can be unpredictable. He says that His ways are not our ways and His thoughts are not our thoughts. Some people falsely believe that God never changes His mind. He told Moses that He was going to destroy the people of Israel, but Moses interceded and God relented. We all know the story of Nineveh. God told Jonah to go and tell them that their city would fall in forty days. The entire city repented before God, and God showed mercy to the people. I thank God that He does change His mind. Hezekiah was told by the prophet to set his house in order because he was about to die. Hezekiah cried out to God, and before the prophet left the castle God sent him back and granted Hezekiah an additional 15 years.
If it is impossible for God to be influenced or to change His mind, then what is the purpose of prayer? I believe I am a child of God. I also believe that God listens to my prayers. I also expect that God is going to do something about the matters I bring before Him. I understand that the answer is “no” sometimes. I also understand that tragedies still occur. I understand that there is a real devil whose job it is to steal, kill and destroy.
My job is to keep my eyes on Jesus. I need to listen and obey His voice. When I hear from heaven, I need to make sure that what I hear lines up with scripture and is filled with the love and mercy of God. If I am still unsure about a word I receive, I can call some good friends and my pastor to make sure what I heard resonates in their spirits.
What happens when someone you pray for doesn’t get better? What do you do when someone you love gets lost in the world of sex, drugs and alcohol? How do you react when the candidate you voted for doesn’t win? What is your response when you didn’t get that job you thought God promised you?
When I face disappointment in my life, I fall on my face before God. I remind myself that He is firmly on His throne. Life isn’t fair, but God promises to make all things work together for my good. I can lean on my friends and trust that He cares more about my situation than I do. It might be time for that person to go to their heavenly home.
I have to remember that God still loves and saves prodigal children. I can pray that God will raise up men and women like Daniel and Esther to advise government leaders. Maybe God closed a door because He has a better one. Maybe He wants you to pursue that entrepreneurial dream that He placed in your heart.
The truth is we don’t understand God’s ways, or why He changes His mind, or why He allowed something to happen. But I want to encourage you to run to God, not away from Him. Turn your worries and pain over to Him. Trust His word, that He is on your side and that He will bring good things into your life. Press on. Hang on. Never give up on God. Keep praying. Believe and trust in God.
Contact Doug Creamer at PO Box 777, Faith, NC 28041 or firstname.lastname@example.org.