Amidst all the craziness of getting ready to move and trying to sell (and buy) a house, I've been slowly making my way through a much needed book for my hurried and distracted soul. It's called Sanctuary of the Soul: Journey Into Meditative Prayer by Richard J. Foster. God has used this little book to slow me down as I listen to him and approach him with simple words of submission and surrender. I want to share one insight from the book that was extremely helpful for me and I hope it's helpful to you as well. Isaiah 55:8 says that "God's ways are not our ways and his thoughts are not our thoughts." The text goes on to say that God's Word and his ways are like the rain and snow that gently fall down and sink into the earth, which in time, brings forth life. Foster writes,
What a contrast with our ways, which involve wanting to open up another person's head and tinker around in there for a bit! But you see, God's ways are all patience and love, all grace and mercy. Our ways are domination and control, all manipulation and guile.
Earlier he writes,
You see it's one thing to love God; it's quite another to love God's ways.
Later he gives the reader a helpful illustration to grow in accepting God's ways:
We might want to imagine ourselves on a lovely beach observing the footprints of God in the sand. Slowly we begin to place our feet into the prints. At some places the stride looks far too long for our small frame; at other places it looks so short that it appears childlike. In infinite wisdom God is stretching us where we need greater attentiveness and stillness. As we follow God's lead, we enter more and more into the divine Stride, turning where God turns, accepting God's ways and finding them altogether good.
That's my prayer for you and me - that we would learn to follow his lead and love his ways. For he is good and is working for our good always.