“My ways are not Your Ways” (Is. 55:8)

Posted February 7, 2008

There’s an inspirational vignette about a man who asked God for the two most beautiful things he could think of—a flower and a colorful butterfly. God sent him instead a thorny cactus and a caterpillar. Somewhat disappointed and bewildered, he put them in his garden. One day he noticed that an exquisite cactus flower had blossomed on the cactus limb and that the caterpillar had metamorphosed into a gorgeous butterfly flitting about the cactus flower.

Things can be done either our way or the best way; when it’s done the best way, God has had a hand in it. If you ask God for one thing and receive another, don’t allow yourself to be disappointed in the result or in God. That’s the time for consummate trust in his goodness. He’ll teach you that what you want is not always what you need; and what you really need will be given to you in God’s time and in his way. Embracing that faith-bedecked truth without question is the quintessence of trust in God. He gives the very best to those who leave the choices up to him. For those who do, he surprises them, as he transforms today’s thorn into tomorrow’s flower.

John H. Hampsch, C.M.F.