“For My thoughts are not your thoughts, Nor are your ways My ways,” says 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.
- Isaiah 55:8,9
It's hard when things don't go your way, isn't it? Often times, when we least expect it, the course of your entire day, week, or even year can be dramatically altered in an instant.
At work, everything seems to be going great, until that one phone call comes in that changes everything. That relationship is going great when, all of a sudden, you get thrown a "curve ball" and have to make some serious adjustments. Or that project you're working on tirelessly, is going better than expected..until that roadblock pops up out nowhere! This is exactly what happened to Paul the apostle on his missionary journeys in the book of Acts:
"Now when they had gone through Phrygia and the region of Galatia, they were forbidden by the Holy Spirit to preach the word in Asia. After they had come to Mysia, they tried to go into Bithynia, but the Spirit did not permit them." - Acts 16:6,7
After preaching in the cities of Lystra and Derbe, Paul the apostle apparently wanted to extend his evangelistic efforts into Asia. But to his great surprise, the Holy Spirit Himself erected an obstacle to deter him and his team. Next, Paul figured he would try to go in the direction of Mysia... but somehow the Spirit also prevented them from heading there as well. With only one option left, Paul decided the Lord must want him to west, into Greece...and he was right! The Lord had an entire mission field just waiting for Paul, and thankfully he was flexible enough to be redirected into God's perfect plan for him.
Interesting isnt it? Paul was an apostle, yet even he did not always know the direction God wanted him to take. He took steps, God closed doors, so he waited; and then God showed him the way. Hence was born the Christian saying "Blessed are the flexible, for they shall not break!"
This is exactly what happens to us too, isn't it? We start off in a particular direction, we begin a specific project, and then....bam! A change of plans, a door is closed, and we have no choice but to head in a new direction.
Actually, we shouldn't be too surprised at this. After all, didn't Jesus tell us that He sometimes does this for our own benefit? In Revelation 3:7 we read:
"..He who is holy, He who is true, “He who has the key of David, He who opens and no one shuts, and shuts and no one opens”
When Jesus closes one door, when he removes a certain option off the table, it takes faith and trust in His wisdom to sustain us until He shows us the next step to take, the right path to walk.
"But without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him." - Heb 11:6
All you can do, when you find yourself in this situation is to trust deeply in your King, feed richly on His faithfulness, delight yourself in His goodness, and recommit your life into His sovereign care.
"Trust in the Lord, and do good; Dwell in the land, and feed on His faithfulness. Delight yourself also in the Lord, And He shall give you the desires of your heart. Commit your way to the Lord, Trust also in Him, And He shall bring it to pass." - Psalm 37:3-5
Is the Lord perhaps rearranging your schedule? Is He closing some doors you thought would be open? Is Christ perhaps trying to grow YOU in your faith and flexibility to His will? Trust yourself once again into the hands of the One who created you...and to the One whose hands were pierced for you!
"Blessed are the flexible, for they shall not break!"