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Tuesday, April 18, 2017

The Divine Perspective

My daughter, Jessica, is pursuing a Ph.D. in bio-chemistry at Auburn University in Alabama. I am very proud of who she is, the work she is doing, and how she reflects the love of Jesus in what she does. But sometimes when she begins to talk about her work, I am reminded she was blessed with her mother’s portion of brain power.

While on the phone with her the other day, I asked what she had done that week. She said, “Well, I conducted large scale expressions on bacteria to extract KatG protein, otherwise known as catalase-peroxidase protein, using sonification to lyse the cells to extract the proteins that were overexpressed. This was done with multiple varieties of chromatography protocols. Then I tested these proteins using UV-visible spectroscopy and an oxygen sensitive electrode.”

I said, “ummm…OK.” Then in an effort to sound intelligent, I asked, “Why did you do that? What did you hope to accomplish?”

She said, “I did that to determine the activity of a protein that enables tuberculosis to withstand attacks from its host.”

To that, I articulately said, “ummm….OK.” I gave up and simply told her, “It sounds like you had a great week!”

Since I had no idea what she just said, and in attempt to maintain my pride, I said, “Let’s pretend that I had absolutely no idea what you just said. Tell me what you just said in plain ol’ English.”

So, she told me she was analyzing some proteins to understand why tuberculosis sometimes sticks around when it should have been eradicated.

I said, “Oh! That sounds important and worthwhile. Why didn’t you just say that?”

The thing is, I know what she is doing is more complex and profound than what she told me. She just knows that if she gave me more, my mind would literally explode, so she gave me what she knew I could handle for now.

This was not the first time I had been in a conversation where the discussion had been way over my head. Actually, it seems like I am in many of those types of conversations. When I get in those situations, I know what the person is saying is important and I know it is worthwhile, but I also realize they are communicating on such a different level than me, I just have to try to keep up.

It is this way with God sometimes. Many times the core of our problems is our inability to know and understand God’s ways. The Lord said in Isaiah 55:9, “For as heaven is higher than earth, so My ways are higher than your ways, and My thoughts than your thoughts.” (HCSB)

Because God works from the divine perspective, there are times we must simply trust His goodness and faithfulness and realize He will show us only what we can handle at the moment.

We make our plans and they go awry, and then we get frustrated and angry because things did not go as we planned. Perhaps, that was because God was working something different than we had imagined. We wonder if God is listening to our prayers because we have been asking repeatedly for Him to reveal His plan for us. When we encounter silence in our prayers, we may be tempted to think God does not care. It might just be that it is not time for Him to reveal His plan to us because it would be incomprehensible at that point in time.

God’s ways are not only higher they are bigger than our thoughts. His thoughts, His ways, and His plans are on another level than our thought process. Therefore, when He shows us a little bit of His plan which He thinks we can handle, it might surprise us. However, we must understand that if God is asking us to do something surprising, something difficult, something different, He is performing a work in our lives we might not even be able to imagine.