The following is a rewritten chapter from Bittersweet Refinements. If you would like to read the entire book, from start to finish and in the proper order, please go [here].
Seek the LORD while he may be found; call on him while he is near. Let the wicked forsake his way and the evil man his thoughts. Let him turn to the LORD, and he will have mercy on him, and to our God, for he will freely pardon. “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 55:6-9 NIV]
It is often said that God works in mysterious ways, which is understandable. For if His ways truly are much higher than our own, how could we possibly understand them?
What is not understandable is why our Heavenly Father’s ways are still such a great mystery to such a great many. For if He really does want to have a very close and personal relationship with His children by faith, would He not want them to understand what He is doing to at least a certain extent [Jeremiah 33:3]?
No, this is not to say that it is the same for all. For it all depends upon what our Heavenly Father wants to accomplish in and through someone that determines when, and to what extent, He will allow and enable them to enter into His absolute truth [1 Corinthians 2:6-16].
In other words, some are given a lot at a very early age, such as in the case of the Prophet Jeremiah [Jeremiah 1:4-10]. Whereas, others will have to wait until just before the end of their time as a part of this world before they are given very little in comparison, which is the way it was for the thief on the cross [Luke 23:32-43].
Tragically, the problem is not that our Heavenly Father has not been forthcoming. The problem is that far too many just do not want to hear what He has to say [Jeremiah 6:10].
Take the greatest mystery of them all for an example. For theologians and philosophers have been wondering out loud for thousands of years about what the meaning of life (or the reason for our existence, to get more specific) could possibly be, and He has been giving them an answer too simple for most to accept. For we were created in order to give our Heavenly Father opportunities to freely receive a very special kind of love from us, and everything about this world is for that purpose.
Alas, there are not any Bible verses that say that. Well, at least not in so many words [Matthew 13:1-30].
Nonetheless, this is not to say that we are not provided with written confirmation. For all of our Heavenly Father’s Holy Scriptures testify to who we were all created to be and why this world is as it is [Romans 8:18-25].
No, that is not good enough for far too many. For unless they have a Bible verse or passage that says just exactly this or that, they refuse to listen, and even when they are presented with such, if it does not match what they have been taught by others not so unlike themselves, the result remains the same [John 5:31-47].
Yes, it is written that we should not go beyond what is written [1 Corinthians 4:6], but then we are faced with those mysterious ways again [Job 11:7-9]. For who can understand the ways of the Lord God Almighty without His help, and that means that there must be more than just a long, hard study of a book involved [1 Corinthians 4:7].
Thankfully, that is provided, and for those humble enough to learn from our Heavenly Father’s Holy Spirit [John 14:26], it should not be very hard to accept what He wants us to. For aside from His witness, our Heavenly Father also allows and enables us to have some very personal experience with both sides of the matter [Romans 8:28].
You see, is it not relatively easy for most to love someone very attractive, in one way or another, and always does, or at least tries to do, what is desired of them? So, it is for this reason that our lives in this world are meant to be full of pain and suffering—even for those whom appear to be absolutely wonderful in our eyes. For in comparison to the worst of lives in His Kingdom of Heaven, the most wonderful of lives in this world is an excruciatingly slow and painful death. For it takes a very special kind of love to want to hang in there with someone who appears to be treating us very badly [Romans 11:32-36].
The reason for why our Heavenly Father partially hid Himself from our sight is also part of that. For our Heavenly Father has never wanted any of us professing their love for Him because of being either too afraid or too greedy not to [1 Corinthians 1:18-31].
Too afraid? This has to do with the overwhelmingly awesomeness of our Heavenly Father’s glory, and the fact that many would want to bow down and worship Him just because of being too afraid not to [Exodus 15:9-12].
Too greedy? This has to do with the indescribable splendor of our Heavenly Father’s majesty, and the fact that others would want to bow down and worship Him just because of what it could profit them [Revelation 21:10-21].
No, there are not many among us (if any at all) who really care about why someone claims to love them and generally seeks to do what is pleasing in their sight. For all we usually care about is that they keep on doing what we want them to [Jeremiah 17:9].
Woe be it unto all who never really want to know the difference between what is real and what is coerced—albeit inadvertently. For a love that is coerced in any way, shape or form [Psalms 32:8-9] is really no love at all [1 Corinthians 13:4-13].
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