God can be predictably unpredictable.
Because we are used to routine, patterns and formula, we tend to think we have figured God out. If He did things a certain way, then He must do it the same way again this time. And this is when frustration and disappointments set in. God cannot be put in a box.
You may be going through a situation today that doesn’t seem to make sense. You were hoping for it to come up with certain results. You were expecting God to answer a particular way. But for some reason, you were caught flatfooted.
In her book, “These Strange Ashes,” Elizabeth Elliot tells an apocryphal (not in the Bible) story of Jesus and his disciples. She illustrates how we second guess Jesus, predict how he will work in our lives and yet end up dispirited and downcast because we don’t realize that we cannot put Him in a box.
One day Jesus said to his disciples: “I’d like you to carry a stone for Me.” He didn’t give any explanation. So the disciples looked around for a stone to carry, and Peter, being the practical sort, sought out the smallest stone he could possibly find. After all, Jesus didn’t give any regulations for weight and size.
So he put it in his pocket. Jesus then said: “Follow Me.” He led them on a journey. About noontime Jesus had everyone sit down. He waved his hands and all the stones turned to bread.
He said, “Now it’s time for lunch.” In a few seconds, Peter’s lunch was over. When lunch was done Jesus told them to stand up.
He said again, “I’d like you to carry a stone for Me.” This time Peter said, “Aha! Now I get it!” So he looked around and saw a small boulder.
He hoisted it on his back and it was painful, it made him stagger. But he said, “I can’t wait for supper.” Then Jesus said: “Follow Me.” He led them on a journey, with Peter barely being able to keep up.
Around supper time Jesus led them to the side of a river. He said, “Now everyone throw your stones into the water.” They did. Then he said, “Follow Me,” and began to walk.
Peter and the others looked at him dumbfounded. Jesus sighed and said, “Don’t you remember what I asked you to do? Who were you carrying the stone for?”
Isaiah 55:8-9 tells us,
“For my thoughts are not your thoughts,
neither 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.”
When God gives us an instruction, realize that He sees beyond what we see today.
Moreover, we want to check our hearts to see if we’re obeying Him for His sake or obey Him for ours. The latter can be dangerous while the former brings glory to Him, which He rightfully deserves.