His Ways Are So High

Just when we thought spring was finally on its way, our tricky Midwestern weather decided it needed another backwards dance with ice and snow.

 

My heart can sometimes feel that backwards pull.  Maybe yours does also?

 

After decades of praying for relief for my husband’s chronic knee injury, when the actual surgery for a knee replacement was finally scheduled, I heard myself complaining to God about the timing.  In last week’s post, here, He showed me more about the beauty of finding Christ as sufficient even now.

 

So as I’ve been praying and preparing for the days ahead, the Lord reminded me of a precious gift from a long-distance friend. She recently led a workshop-retreat for which she had created a hands-on devotional that came with a booklet and a scrapbook style shadow box.  She graciously prepared a set for me, and sent it to me via a dear mutual friend who came to visit me last month.  She’s been asking our mutual friend for updates from me, as she wanted me to know that she had prayed for me as she prepared my packet.

 

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As I set out to work through the devotional and glue together all of the tiny hand-cut pieces that came with the kit, God’s hand seemed to rest on my weak wrists, imparting just enough strength to pull apart tiny pieces of artwork and glue them onto the appropriate squares.  Page after page through the devotional, I felt His gentle fingers writing gratefulness across my soul.

How could I have missed the sweet gifts that have been planted in this place so specifically just for me?

 

One of the small squares included a bright sun shining through the bare branches where a redbird sat contentedly.  It’s a scene I am privy to on a daily basis here: one that my soul longed to be able to see during all the years we were hemmed in by city streets and parking lots.   The Scripture for that square is:

 

“God made the wild animals according to their kinds, the livestock according to their kinds, and all the creatures that move along the ground according to their kinds. And God saw that it was good.” Genesis 1:25 NIV

 

Another of the squares depicted a key attached to a bright red ribbon.  The questions asked for that entry shifted my heart to remember the years when we found God’s provision during jobless and homeless times.  But here in our current home where the maintenance can feel overwhelming, God has been teaching us another side of His provisional strength: HE holds the keys to whatever we need:

 

And my God will meet all your needs according to the riches of his glory in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:6 NIV

 

But it was the last square with the fluttering butterfly and this accompanying question that seemed to scorch something deep within my heart:

“What is something that has transformed you?”

And I knew instantly the answer that God was putting His finger on.  He has used this path of Chronic Illness to bring His transformation to me.  Although there have been glimpses of His beauty through these years, this is the first time that I could truly give an answer of GRATEFULNESS for this time:

“Thank you Lord for transforming my heart and view of weakness through this Season of Chronic Illness.

 

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Thank you to my friends Karen and Linda for the gift of this craft.

 

As I completed the shadowbox and the devotional, I felt God stir a Haiku of gratefulness in my heart. It is not within me to be able to thank Him for the pain. But only as I taste His mercy can I find the gift that is hidden within the thorn.

 

The Thorn

Thank you for the pain

In your hidden gift so sweet

I receive Your love.

–bg

 

The ways of God are so different than ours.  But His ways are so much higher than ours as He brings His goodness to us.

 

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

 

I would prefer not to walk in weakness, and yet it is only through the trials and the suffering that I find His hand reaching out to me with such strength.

 

Are you in a season of weakness and questioning? I pray that the words of this song will bring you His comfort as you rest in the beauty of His ways:

 

 

 

 

Next week I am sharing a post with the Beloved Prodigal Website, and after that I will be taking a few weeks for a blogging break while my husband is recovering.  I am so thankful for all of your prayers and support that you have given already! May the Lord be your very great reward and your shield of strength!

 

 

I am linking with:

#LMMLinkup

#Teaandword

#Sittingamongfriends

 

34 thoughts on “His Ways Are So High

  1. What a beautiful shadowbox! Every time you look at it you will remember the Scriptures you read as you glued the pieces together. And your haiku is so fitting. Though we would never ask for the pain, we can be thankful that God meets us there with His love and grace and peace. Blessings, love and hugs to you, Bettie, my dear sister/poet/friend! xoxo The song you shared is perfect!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Dear Gayl, Thank you so much for your reminder that this is National Poetry Month, as the Lord used that to open my heart to receive the poem He had waiting for me. He is dear to meet us in the middle of the trials with His love and grace and peace! And, yes, I am so thankful for the visual reminder that this shadowbox is, at this time especially. Blessings, love and hugs to you my dear sister/poet/friend! xoxo

      Liked by 2 people

  2. Dear Bettie,

    How often we think we have a lesson learned only to find our Lord wants to take us deeper into His love. The Lord used this post to pour light on the corners of my heart. Thank you!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Dear Linda,
      Oh I am so thankful that the Lord used these words to stir in your heart too. Isn’t He so full of grace towards us, how He continues to take us deeper? Love and Hugs to you my dear cousin/sister! xo

      Like

  3. Your shadow box is so very beautiful and just so stunning how God spoke through the pieces to encourage your heart of His hand upon every little detail. Such kindness from your friends – and beautiful timing.

    Your haiku is a blessing too. Only God could turn something so very hard into something beautiful. You encourage me to keep pursuing creative outlets to hear God’s Voice. Thank you so much, Bettie.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Dear Anna,
      I am truly amazed at the way that Jesus increases the blessing as we share the gifts He has given. Even the glue for my kit was provided through a detail of giving on the day of their retreat! God wants us to know that He is still bringing His people together, even when we might feel cut off and separated. I never dreamed that I would be able to join in with a Retreat activity again like this. He is so faithful to us! I hope that you are able to pursue those precious and new creative ventures that He has for you, Anna! You are such a blessing to me and so many others! Love and Hugs across the miles!

      Like

  4. Dear Bettie, the shadowbox looks like such a beautiful and memorable way to ingrain Scripture on your heart! It speaks to us afresh as we follow your selections and thoughts. Your haiku is honest yet hopeful. It is a “hidden gift” we often fail to understand, yet in that place of pain we meet powerfully with God. And would you believe that I have been led to write a poem/prayer this afternoon based on this very idea of being thankful for thorns?! How hard it is to be grateful for the things that render us weak, unwell and pain filled. But oh how wonderfully God shows Himself strong on our behalf! Just as He will do for you, my friend, as you prepare yourselves for Barry’s surgery and the aftermath. May your own lovely prayer be true for you too. Blessing, love, hugs and prayers for strength, resilience and grace enough to cope with all that comes your way. xoxo

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Dear Joy,
      Yes, I am so thankful to have this beautiful way to remember the Scriptures and the lessons that God has been teaching me here in this season. It was truly a gift planned by God. And, no, I shouldn’t be surprised that God was leading you along the same thought-lines as the “thorn” poem! So often He seems to be walking us down some of the same roads, encouraging each other in the process! I am so grateful for the confirmation your words bring dear friend! And I am so thankful for all of your prayers and support for myself and for Barry too! We both send our hugs, love and blessings to you also, across the pond! xoxo

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Dear Bette,
      Thank you for your kind words, and for stopping by to visit today! I am so grateful that our Lord has spoken such encouraging words for us through His Scriptures! And I thank you for your dear prayers for my husband and myself also. Blessings to you!

      Liked by 1 person

  5. I love your beautiful shadow box and the lessons God taught you through it, Bettie. What thoughtful friends you have! This resonates in my heart – “But only as I taste His mercy can I find the gift that is hidden within the thorn.” Within the thorn, we are held and we are loved! Love and hugs to you!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Dear Trudy,
      Yes, I am so very thankful for sweet friends who have been such a blessing! We are so well-cared for by our Dear Father, aren’t we? He sees and understands the heavy trials that we must face, but He never leaves us. And I love how you put it, “Within the thorn, we are held and we are loved! Much Love and Hugs to you! xo

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Dear Wendy,
      Amen! He is so good! How beautiful that you thought of the thorn also with those transforming butterflies. Our Lord truly knows how to bring us closer to His heart, doesn’t He? Blessings to you this week!

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Dear Ruth,
      Thank you so much for your beautiful prayers for my husband and myself. I appreciate them so much! He is so good to continue bringing me to place of His sufficiency. Blessings to you this week!

      Liked by 2 people

  6. Prayers for the two of you! What a sweet blog post! I’ve just been explaining to my children that it’s in our weakness that we can rest, heal, and restore through God’s strength…we can feel blessed, loved, and nourished by the Ultimate Physician when we allow Him to care for our needs- Always accepting His will over our own.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you for your prayers for us! And how sweet that the Lord would confirm His Word for each of us! I love it when God does that. How precious to rest in these words: “we can feel blessed, loved, and nourished by the Ultimate Physician when we allow Him to care for our needs.” Truly, His Will is our safety. Blessings to you!

      Liked by 2 people

  7. Wow, Bettie, what a beautiful blessing that you have received! A true display of Jesus’s hands working among those who care about you. I will be praying for your husband’s surgery. May your next weeks be wrapped in His presence of comfort and peace.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Dear Lynn,
      Yes, that has been such a blessing and a comfort to me, reminding me so much of “Jesus’s hands working among those who care about (me).” Thank you so much for your beautiful prayers for us!! Blessings to you also!

      Liked by 1 person

  8. Oh, what a beautiful craft! Your thoughtful friends truly blessed you in such a sweet way! It is so wonderful how you can see the good in your suffering, my friend. Sending much love to you today!

    Liked by 3 people

  9. Dear Cheryl,
    Yes, I am so grateful for the sweet gift that my friends gave to me, and how they brought the Lord’s words and thoughts to me too! I appreciate all of your prayers so much, my friend! May you be blessed by His love today too! xoxo

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes, it is a really great idea! But this particular devotional and craft was created by my friend for the Retreat that she led. I am not aware of anyone who offers a kit like this to be purchased; it really is unique. If I come across any I will try to post a link on my blog or Instagram page. I will pass along your interest to my friend also. Blessings to you!

      Liked by 1 person

  10. Amen-Amein Sister in Christ Jesus-Yeshual!! God Bless you Sister in Christ Jesus-Yeshua and Your Family members and Friends!! ❤

    May our ONE TRUE GOD THE FATHER who art in Heaven Above Bless all my Sisters and Brothers in Christ Jesus-Yeshua and my Messianic Jewish Sisters and Brothers in Christ Jesus-Yeshua and Your Families and Friends!!

    I Love you all Everyone through Jesus-Yeshua Christ, because HE LOVED 💜💕 EVERYONE FIRST!!

    Love 💕 Always and Shalom ( Peace ), YSIC \o/

    Kristi

    Liked by 2 people

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