His Ways are Higher

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"For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, declares the Lord. 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)

I turned 42 last year. Never in my entire life have my eyes been opened to the wonder of these verses in the way they have been opened over the last two years. Never has God revealed himself to me more than He has over the last two years.  

Maybe you are like me. Maybe you too have gone through long seasons (or in my case years) where you thought you were in control. As a child, I learned that I should control my actions and environment to ensure the best outcome. Controlling situations became so ingrained in me that it was my way of life. You can imagine how well that usually went. But even then, even when my precarious grip on any control was slipping thru my fingers, I didn't turn those situations over to God. I can honestly say I didn't know how to. I don't believe I ever truly opened my eyes to see God’s ways or hear his thoughts. 

I knew God. I had known him, really known him, since I was 33. The day I entered into a personal relationship with him as my Lord and savior is a day I will never forget. That day was only the beginning though. I will spend my life in relationship with Him and still never know all of Him. He reveals himself in new ways and through new situations every day.

Looking Back

I look back at 2018 as the start of the journey He took me on to reveal His glory in a new way. He revealed it by teaching me the life lesson of Isaiah 55:8-9.  

"For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, declares the Lord. 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)

You see, if we don't know this biblical lesson, we may just think we are floating along in life (or maybe even sinking) alone. If we don't keep this verse in mind, we may see life as simply unfortunate and unfair, or amazing and unbelievable, or maybe even simply irrelevant. Maybe we remember to call out to Him in crisis or praise Him for blessings. Do we really believe He is in control? Don't we fail to see the beauty of giving up that control? 

When we can allow the words of this verse to penetrate our own thoughts to the very center of our being, we can begin to see that He is so much more than just a prayer during a crisis or a praise during a celebration. He is, day in and day out, aware of our circumstances. Day in and day out, He has a plan. 

Retreating Was Just the Start

The journey I’ve alluded to started at the Burnt Hickory Women's Retreat held that year. I was blessed to be able to attend and so excited to spend time with a dear friend that was also going. Little did I know the plans God had in store for me and for my entire family. God not only poured Himself into me at that conference, but He also put his plans in motion - and He was not messing around!

That weekend led to me connecting with a woman who works in orphan care, which led to us hosting a beautiful teenager from Latvia (a country I had never heard of), which led to adoption. It looks so very simple when I type it out in one sentence. LOL. 

Let me assure you, simple it was NOT. These plans of God's felt scary, overwhelming, and sometimes impossible. However, He was always faithful to give us just enough strength and just enough provision. The best parts, the most insane, awesome, GOD IS SO VERY BIG parts, were the ones in our 18-month journey, when it looked like His plans made no sense!!! There were parts of His plan that made us question EVERYTHING. I wish I could say I had this verse memorized and it calmed me and brought me peace. But I didn't. Like I said, God was using this journey to TEACH me this verse. My husband and I did understand that God was working through us and we did understand that we needed to cry out to Him. We did cry out, and He did show up. But I wish we would have had THIS verse in mind. 

His Beautiful Ways

When all was said and done, I was able to look back on this journey and say, Oh my God, how I now see why you declare “my thoughts are not your thoughts and my ways are not your ways!” I was able to see why He goes on to remind us that “just as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways HIGHER than your ways and my thoughts HIGHER than your thoughts.”

And how beautiful are your ways, God! 

That has allowed me to trust HIM all the more. Now when the waves of confusion, despair, or being overwhelmed come - and trust me, they do come - I know this verse by heart. It is the Word. It is truth. 

Jamie Hester

Interested in attending the 2020 Women’s Ministry Retreat in Toccoa, February 27-29? Click here for all the details. Registration closes February 16.

Interested in becoming a Women’s Ministry blog contributor? Contact Jenn Dennard ( ) for details.

Interested in joining the Women’s Ministry team? Visit our Teams page to discover our various committees and which one might be the best fit for you.

In need of prayer or a fellow woman in Christ to chat with? The Women’s Ministry team would love to be there for you. Email Kim Edde ( ) to connect with one of our team members.

Connect with the Women's Ministry via Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/bhbcsistersoftheheart) or Instagram (bhbc_women)

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Coming into Focus

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“Then Jesus said to his disciples, ‘Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me.’” (Matthew 16:24)

Wow! Now that the year 2020 is here and I’ve started seeing the number, I can’t help but think about an eye examination. I’ve had my eyes examined many times, all in pursuit of 20/20 vision. As the doctor pulls the instrument over my eyes and makes adjustments, I begin to see the chart on the wall come into focus.  

What will your focus be in 2020? Family, friends, how we spend our money and time …. None of these things are bad, but they can easily distract us from asking Christ daily to help keep up focused on the things that are important to Him. We must allow the Holy Spirit to be the instrument that helps us focus on the right things in the areas above. He is the only one that can help keep our eyes on loving and helping others, not just ourselves. Let’s be honest: We struggle everyday with not making today about “me.”

My 2020 goal has its roots in, of all places, a Hallmark movie! One of the characters in the movie mentioned “doing the most good.” The more I thought about it, the more I realized that my goal for the coming year will be to ask Christ to help me with “doing the most good.”

I know it has to be intentional. We have to genuinely care about those whom God puts in our path. (As Kevin Harney mentions in “Organic Outreach,” our efforts to do good can be counterproductive if they aren’t motivated by love.)

Jesus says, “If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me” (Matthew 16:24). Because we were created in His image, there is a need in each one of us to help those around us. My prayer is that I look more like Christ this coming year than I did last year. As 2020 comes into focus, consider and be challenged by the following prayer:

“It is a challenge to keep my focus and attention on You, Lord. The desires of the flesh constantly pull me toward the world. Lord, help me shun the things of this world. Help me focus my attention on the things above where Christ, my Savior, dwells. Revive my heart and renew my love for You, Your word, and Your people. With your help, I want to focus fully on Christ; to commit my body, soul, and spirit to Him and to be transformed into His image. Amen.”

And finally, if you’re looking for even more encouragement for the new year, join me at the next Women’s Ministry event (link bolded words to: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/2020-new-year-new-vision-an-evening-with-chrystal-evans-hurst-tickets-79168315563) on Sunday, January 26 at 6:30pm. We’ll welcome author, speaker and podcaster Chrystal Evans Hurst as she shares her Christ-centered vision for 2020.

Kim Edde

 

Footer: Interested in becoming a Women’s Ministry blog contributor? Contact Jenn Dennard (  ) for details.

 

Interested in joining the Women’s Ministry team? Visit our Teams page to discover our various committees and which one might be the best fit for you.

 

In need of prayer or a fellow woman in Christ to chat with? The Women’s Ministry team would love to be there for you. Email Kim Edde (  ) to connect with one of our team members.

 

Connect with the Women's Ministry via Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/bhbcsistersoftheheart) or Instagram (bhbc_women)

 

Posted by Kim Edde with

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