When the Pieces Don’t Fit

harshIsaiah 55:9 “As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.”

Enjoying my morning walk by the lake, I basked in the sun shining on the water (Even belted out a little John Denver…Sunshine on my shoulders makes me happy). The simple beauty of manicured lawns and the wind’s gentle nudging of waves over the rocky shore created a picturesque scene of peacefulness. Into my idyllic reverie I happened to notice the name of the road where I was walking. You might be guessing something like Serenity Street or maybe even Leisure Lane. But no, I discovered my jaunt had put me on Harsh Road. Harsh Road? How could this slice of tranquility be labeled harsh? Next I noticed the window sill on one of the houses. In the midst of all this natural loveliness sat a window box filled with artificial flowers. Artificial flowers! They looked as out of place as tofu at a meat-eaters convention.

Much in life doesn’t fit our expectations, does it? Sometimes the pieces just don’t come together, and no matter how hard we try, like Cinderella’s step-sisters, we can’t squeeze a 9-sized foot into a size 5 shoe. Hmmmm…I still don’t understand why my daughter’s wedding reception fell on the very same day my son had to leave for college (over 700 miles away). By the time we realized the conflict, it was too late to change the plans. These two major life events were not supposed to overlap. But they did. I can’t explain why death took my friend when her family still needed her. But it did. We don’t expect projects we pour our heart and soul into to flounder. But they do. We think surely God will speak to us when we seem to need him most. But he doesn’t.

How do we deal with these incongruities in life?

We might keep insisting on knowing why until the strain causes a hairline fracture in our faith. We might try to spiritualize the situation by conjuring up explanations to justify God’s allowances. Or we might accept the truth: God is infinite; we are finite. Although he sometimes grants us access, his thoughts and ways remain far above our understanding.

So the next time you unexpectedly find yourself on Harsh Road, I hope you choose the third option.

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