In Isaiah 55 God declares that his thoughts and ways are as distinct and different from our thoughts and ways as the sky is high above the earth. This is not so much a condemnation as a promise that to the extent that we turn from our own thoughts and wisdom and inclinations, ALL of which are wicked and unrighteous, he will give to us his thoughts and lead us in his ways.
Whew! That’s a load. I think a story is in order to help unpack some of this.
In ’92 while living next door to my brother, Eric, at a Bible Camp near Caroline, we took on two thoroughbred geldings that weren’t good enough for the track. They belonged to my younger brother but he’d moved and had nowhere to keep them. Coming off the track Cisco and Sundance were somewhat broke but had never seen anything like the bush country around Caroline, so we had some work to do. One of the challenges they had never encountered was moving water.
We were coming back from a short ride and to get back to the corrals we needed to cross a creek or else go a long way around to the road. I was on Sundance and he crossed with only a little hesitance. Cisco was not nearly as certain this was the best way home. He certainly wanted to get across as Sundance was there and the corrals just beyond that, in his mind stepping into that water was foolhardy and would end up in certain disaster.
Eric kept his nose pointed at the creek, and though Cisco did everything he could to turn aside to find a way around, Eric continued to gently encourage him to step into the creek. Cisco sniffed and snorted at the water, and pawed and splashed it, but would not take that step. You could see how much he wanted to be across, but struggled to accept Eric’s thoughts and ways ahead of his own.
It wasn’t until he submitted his will to Eric’s that he finally crossed the creek. Of course he tried to do it all in one giant leap which still only got them half way and ended up with a great deal of splashing, but he did it.
Our biggest struggle isn’t knowing or doing God’s will. Our biggest struggle is trusting God enough to submit my will to his. When I do his thoughts and his ways become his gift to me.