This morning, the Lord had me read II Kings chapter seven. This chapter is about two specific promises the Lord makes, and how He keeps those promises. It made me think about my life, and how the Lord works in His own ways.
In the midst of a war, the land of Samaria was experiencing a severe famine. There was obviously not much food, and the foods that the people did have were very costly. God spoke through a man named Elisha and promised that the next day the scene would be entirely different–the prices would drop significantly, and there would be plenty of food.
The second promise was given to the king’s right-hand man: he would see the first promise come to pass, but he would not eat of any of the food himself. This promise was given to him because he doubted that the Lord could actually bring food in abundance by the next day.
Those of us who know God know that He keeps His promises. However, what we don’t always get right is how He keeps His promises. For example, in regard to His first promise to the Samaritans, we would think that He would answer the promise by sending sun and rain and supernatural power to make plants grow and produce. Or maybe He’d send along a caravan that had plenty of food at low prices. Logical, right?
He chose a completely different way to show His faithfulness. He “had caused the army of the Syrians to hear the noise of chariots and the noise of horses–the noise of a great army; so they said to one another, ‘Look, the king of Israel has hired against us the kings of the Hittites and the kings of the Egyptians to attack us!’ Therefore they arose and fled at twilight, and left the camp intact–their tents, their horses, and their donkeys–and they fled for their lives” (vs. 6-7). The army left everything behind, including their food and gold and silver. The Samaritans were able to plunder their things and bring home all the food. Thus, they had food in abundance–and at a low cost.
The second promise was also honored in an unusual way. The officer did not taste any of the food because the people, in their mad rush, trampled over him and killed him at the gate to Samaria (vs. 17-20). Who would’ve thought?
But isn’t this how God works? His ways are not our ways. He has plans that we don’t know about and don’t understand–not because He’s a mean, selfish God but because He alone knows what’s best for each of us. It’s simply that He knows the grand scheme of things; we don’t. He gives us His promises and we may think one thing while He plans and directs another. And for reasons specific to each circumstance, it’s always better how He plans it.
This isn’t to say that we can never know the mind of God; Paul says, “But we have the mind of Christ” (1 Cor. 2:16b) and “Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus” (Ph. 2:5). As we walk with Him, His desires become ours and we think more like He does. But He is the One who directs our steps and plans our ways.
I’ve had to learn that as I’ve been here in Belize. There are promises that He’s given me and I thought I knew exactly how they’d work out, but I was wrong and He showed me a greater plan. I’ve learned to not cling to anything earthly, or any of my own ideas, because His ways are not always what I imagine. His way, though, is truly what I seek and truly what is necessary. Nothing–nothing–else matters!
I’ll be home in a matter of days (!) and have to move on with my life. A few months ago if you had asked me what I’d do once I got home, I would have told you one thing. A couple months ago I would have said another. Each of those answers were me trying to figure out what God’s promises would look like in my life; how He was going to fulfill them. Now, however, I have a different answer. I have sought the Lord and He has answered me, though on His timing and not mine. He has a plan for the rest of my life, and He is revealing it piece by piece to me as time goes by and He sees fit to tell me.
Please continue in the journey with me–the journey of knowing Christ and Him crucified in this life here on earth. I will keep writing and posting once I get home, and hopefully again before then. Thank you for all of your prayers!