Last weekend, my husband asked me to go with him to pick up some gates he'd brought. He needed help lifting them onto the trailer. I hadn't seen a photo of them and in my mind I had a picture of a nice 'pretty' set of gates. However when we arrived I was surprised to see not just a set of gates, but a whole fence in pieces. And they did not look pretty to me. Thankfully I had changed into old clothes and gumboots, as I got very dirty carrying them. They were steel, dirty and very heavy! The dismal thoughts going through my mind was "What a lot of junk! What are we going to do with them? Are you sure you didn't make a mistake buying these? Where are we going to put them?" I kept these thoughts to myself and when we were back at our home, I again helped lift them out. When my husband started telling me how much the gates and fence were worth, it struck me that as a welder, he saw them through completely different eyes to me. These gates are the kind of work he does. He knows just how much time and effort have gone into them and how much money they are worth. He knows their value and their opportunity. (He can also picture things better than I can. I find it hard to picture a fence when I see it in a heap!)
Isn't that a small picture of the difference in the way we think compared to the way God thinks?
When we see people, sometimes we think nearly as negatively as I thought about the gates. "What a mess! What can their life be useful for?" And yet God is their Creator. He knows their value and what their life could become. He sees them as someone worth sending Jesus to die for.
What about our own life? We may think of ourselves with pride and not see our sin and yet God knows who we really are. He sees every thing wrong we do and everything right we don't do. But He also knows our value. He doesn't see us as useless. If we have been forgiven and cleansed and our lives are yielded to Him, He sees the great potential— "Christ in you, the hope of glory." (Colossians 1:27)
What about our problems and trials? We often view them as a nuisance. A hinderance to what we are wanting to do. An annoying obstacle that needs removing. We beg God to remove them as quick as possible. Yet God knows their value. He knows that if we are surrendered to Him, those trials are tools to rub off our rough edges and transform us into the image of Christ. He knows how good they are for us.
"For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the LORD.
For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thought than your thoughts. Isaiah 55:8-9