God’s Ways are Better
God does not work for you. He calls you to come to Him and pray, but He does not take your orders. He is not a chef preparing a dish exactly to your specifications. He is also not limited by your expectations and comfort level. God does bless you abundantly. He answers your prayers every day. Yet, it would be a terrible thing if He did so according to your plan. No one expected the Cross. The disciples were shocked by the Resurrection. God’s plan was not anywhere near theirs. They would have ordered something different from the menu. God’s ways are higher than your ways, you know this! Yet leaning on our own understanding is the default response for us humans. This can seem like it is not a big deal. It brazenly robs you of the real blessings of God, in truth. It blinds you from seeing God doing a great thing…both for you and through you.
Do you look for God’s blessings, even when you are challenged by the circumstances? Are you willing to be grateful when God’s methods don’t meet your expectations? Do you let God be in charge or do you fight for your plan? If you are not willing to submit to God’s plan you will never see God’s greatness. You will be too busy complaining about your lack.
Before you go there, I am not getting prosperity gospel here. Name it and claim it is the opposite of your expected relationship with the King. He does bless you abundantly every single day, despite people abusing this concept. He just does it His way, which makes sense. He is God.
God’s Strange and Muddy Miracle
Have you ever had someone spit in your face? It is disgusting. It is also insulting and unsanitary. Most people agree they don’t want someone’s spit on their face. It is the same with mud. You probably don’t want a stranger to coming to you and rubbing dirt on your face. This is just common sense. Yet, it is just these “normal” expectations Jesus constantly challenged during His earthly ministry. He pushed people’s limits with a purpose. He wanted to see if they would trust Him.
It is easy to say you follow Jesus. It is another thing all together to actually do it when your senses rebel against His plan.
Jesus’ healing of the man born blind in the Gospel of John is a wonderful moment. There is so many things to take from that passage. Yet, there is one huge point that is easy to overlook. Jesus’ method of healing made no sense. He mixed his saliva with dirt to make mud. Jesus then took that mud and placed it on the man’s eyes. Since you know account, you are aware of the outcome – a wonderful miracle! He opened the eyes of one that had only known darkness. It is an awesome work of God, but don’t jump ahead to the outcome just yet. Put yourself in the blind man’s shoes when he first heard Jesus – it will be really helpful to you.
There is no indication this blind man knows Jesus. The man is likely a beggar. He was an outcast. He was left to rely on charity. The man appears to be hoping to receive a few pennies to buy food when he encountered the disciples. He is lost and rejected. He may have never heard of Jesus’ miracles or methods. The man knows that he has been blind since birth. That is the one certainty he has in life. There is nothing that anyone can do to change that for him. He has lived into at least adulthood in hopeless darkness. Then some guy smears spitty mud on his eyes. What?
How do you expect he received this strange mixture? Remember, he does not know the end of the story. How would you react?
You would think it was disgusting and invasive…perhaps cruel! It would seem entirely pointless.
“How can this possibly help? Why are you wasting my time? Who in the world would go around putting spit mud in the eyes of poor blind beggars?”
Now think about if that man heard about Jesus before the encounter. What if the man knew of Jesus and prayed to God for help? What would the temptation be as the mud was rubbed on his sightless eyes?
“No, You don’t understand, this is not what I asked for!”
“You are doing it wrong, I don’t need a facial, I need healing”
“I am so disappointed in God. I asked for my sight and all I got was embarrassment!”
Have you been here? God is doing a miracle and you don’t see it. he is answering your prayer and you argue about the method. You are too stuck on your own vision. You had a plan to fix your problem and God did not fall in line with your expectations. Therefore, the only reasonable conclusion must be Jesus let you down…it is certainly not you, right? Or you were like the blind man and were waiting so long that you lost hope. When Jesus began His work, it seemed like a waste of time. Everyone agreed there was no way out of your personal darkness so why even hold out hope? Like Job’s wife advised, it was better to just curse God and die after so much pain. Do you see how your plans, independence, and vision try to limit God?
Jesus is never bound by your understanding, thankfully. He is not required to do the reasonable, comfortable, or safe. He works according to His plan and His methods. He also does not need your approval. It is His work after all. His miracles are unlikely and unexpected by definition. Jesus used spit and mud. He used a young boy’s lunch. He showed His power through storms and the demon possessed. He healed the ones everyone else agreed were not worth the effort – the lepers, adulterous, and tax collectors. He even saved you and I. None of these would be part of man’s prepared script of how the Messiah to work. Yet, it is exactly what Jesus did then. It is also what He does in your life. He doesn’t follow your plan…and thank God for that! Your plan is worth about as much as Peter’s was when he rebuked Jesus about the Crucifixion.
How do you feel about that? It stings, doesn’t it? That is your flesh rebelling. It is your pride speaking. We all do it. It is the same desire that led to Adam and Eve eating the fruit in the Garden. Are you willing to trust His answer over yours? No one expected Jesus to go to the Cross. No one was looking for the Resurrection. Man’s expectations looked nothing like God’s answer. His was so much better than humans could ever imagine. Are you willing to yield to Him?
God’s Plan is Better than Yours
God’s plan is so much better than your expectations. This does not insult you or your intelligence. It does not mean you are wrong or have bad goals. It is simply a fact. God is God, you are not God. He is way more qualified to run your life. He also loves you better than you even love yourself.
God promised He would never leave or forsake you. He is working every minute of every day for good. If you don’t see Him doing so, could your expectations be the problem? Is God doing His amazing work in a way you don’t like? Did He put dirt and saliva over something in your life leaving you struggling to understand the point and disappointed? There is nothing done by the Lord without purpose. You do have to be willing to wait, trust, submit, and obey in order to see the plan in action. The blind man needed to get over the mud on his face and go and wash as instructed to experience the full extent of his healing. His eyes opened when he trusted and obeyed.
Whose plan is better?
Are you struggling to see God’s plan? You may feel like the blind man just after meeting Jesus. You know you are trapped and feel hopeless. You think nothing can be done to fix all the bad in your life. It is just too dark and now it seem like God is just smearing mud everywhere. Nothing is going according to your expectations! This is a great time to stop and see if your plans are obscuring your vision of God’s. He is always working. He is always blessing you. He just has no obligation to follow your script.
Walk by faith and not by sight. The just say live by faith. These simple Bible truths are the key to transform your life. They open your eyes to the wondrous things Jesus is doing every moment of every day. You just need to see them.
What do you do when God does not follow your expectations?