His Ways Are Not My Ways

In Blogs, Devotional by Lorna Simcox1 Comment


Has anyone ever told you, “Be careful what you pray for”? Someone offered me that advice the first week I received Jesus as my Savior. I was a new believer, eager to learn all I could about Him and the New Testament. So, I went to everything the church offered. If the doors were open, I walked through them.

On my first day in Sunday school, someone told me, “Don’t ever pray for patience.”

“Why?” I asked. 

“Because,” she replied, “the Bible says, ‘Tribulation worketh patience’ [Romans 5:3, KJV]. So, if you pray for patience, God will give you tribulation.”

Oy vey! I thought. Tribulation! That’s the last thing I want! Coward that I am, I’ve never prayed for patience in the 43 years I’ve been a believer.

He wants to strengthen my faith, deepen my trust in Him, and help me walk under the control of the Holy Spirit so that I can live a holy, sanctified life that glorifies Him.

I have prayed for plenty of other things, though, and I’ve learned that God often answers prayer in ways I never expect and for purposes that differ vastly from mine. He wants to make me more like Christ. I may simply want Him to get me a new refrigerator. He wants to strengthen my faith, deepen my trust in Him, and help me walk under the control of the Holy Spirit so that I can live a holy, sanctified life that glorifies Him.

I had been saved for three years when I wanted Him to sell my house. By then I was a young widow with a 6-year-old daughter, and the Lord showed me He wanted me to move to Schroon Lake, New York, to study at Word of Life Bible Institute. Certain that the only way I could afford to go involved selling my home, I prayed and prayed and prayed and put the house on the market.

Soon I received an offer from a young Christian couple with four children. This must be of the Lord, I thought. God is so good! My realtor told me it was a strong offer that should sail through. Overjoyed, I packed, arranged for my lawyer to handle the closing, and moved. 

Two months and two extremely unexpected mortgage payments later, we still hadn’t closed. I gave the couple two extensions until my lawyer advised me to terminate the agreement. Then the police called to tell me the house had been broken into.

Lord, I thought, how could You let this happen? I drove home and stayed with a neighbor, trying to figure out what to do. I was devastated. I went to my empty home, sat on the floor, and cried. How was I going to afford rent in New York, a mortgage in New Jersey, tuition for me, and Christian-school tuition for my daughter? My parents were no longer living, and I had no one I could turn to. I had asked God to sell my home so I could have the funds to do what I was sure He wanted me to do. Now I had no sales deal and no funds. And I was alone.

But, of course, I wasn’t alone. I had the most loving, most powerful, strongest, wisest, and wealthiest family member anyone could have. I had God. The Bible calls Him “God our Father” 13 times, and the Hebrew prayers I grew up with call Him Avinu Malkeinu, “our Father our King.” And now I had Jesus, God’s only begotten Son (John 3:16; cf. Psalm 2:12)—the Savior (Isaiah 45:21; 49:26; 60:16)—who paid for my sins with His blood (53:5–6), arose from the dead (vv. 10–12; cf. John 20), and promises, “I will never leave you nor forsake you” (Hebrews 13:5). 

A friend immediately told my pastor what happened, and a few days later, my church rented my home as a residence for the associate pastor. So, while I was at Word of Life, not only could I pay my bills, but I also had the tremendous joy of knowing the Lord was using my home for ministry. 

I live in that home today. The year I was in school, property values skyrocketed, and when I returned to New Jersey, I would not have been able to buy a house. Fortunately, I didn’t have to. My heavenly Father had taken care of me. 

God never makes a mistake.

God’s ways are perfect, but they are not our ways: “‘For My thoughts are not your thoughts, nor are your ways My ways,’ says the Lᴏʀᴅ. ‘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). 

A friend once told me she was extremely upset about something and complained to her husband, “Well, if I were God, I wouldn’t have done it that way.”

Her wise husband replied, “Honey, if you were God, you would have done it exactly that way.” 

God never makes a mistake. The house incident taught me not to pray solutions but, rather, to pray problems and to trust the Lord for the solutions. God alone sees the end from the beginning (46:10), and He always gives us what He knows is best for us. Sometimes it’s tribulation, whether or not we pray for patience. But we can trust Him wholly, because He is always good.

About the Author
Avatar photo

Lorna Simcox

Lorna Simcox is the consulting editor and former editor-in-chief of Israel My Glory magazine. She is also the author of The Friends of Israel’s popular book, The Search, a heartwarming account of how God showed her the truth about Jesus and drew her to Himself.

Comments 1

  1. Thank you Lorna. We have had similar experiences when we have had reason to move house. We only know our current situation, our Lord knows what is to come as well.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.