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posted: 8/27/2014 1:49 PM

Following God's ways sometimes seems backward

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By Annettee Budzban

"For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, says the Lord."

-- Isaiah 55:8 (AMP)

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My mouth still waters when I recall the first time my mother baked a pineapple upside-down cake. While the cake baked in the oven, my senses were aroused as the aroma of the mixture of pineapple and brown sugar filled the air.

Like any child, I was hoping to get to a small slice while it was piping hot. So I watched closely as my mother put on her mitt and carefully pulled the cake pan out of the oven. My soul filled with anticipation as she laid it on the cooling rack.

However, once my eyes caught sight of the luscious smelling cake, I was perplexed. There on the counter was an ordinary yellow cake. I couldn't understand where the scent of pineapple and brown sugar were coming from.

Once the cake cooled down, I watched my mother flip the cake pan upside-down and place the cake on a plate. The sweet smelling ingredients had been on the bottom of the pan not on the top as I thought it should be.

In the world we live in today, things don't always appear as we think they should. In our frustration and fear we resort to backward ways of taking on our problems.

When someone does us wrong, we desire to take revenge. Our minds plot and scheme how to carry it out.

However, Jesus tells us to handle our enemies in a different way. We are instructed to pray for our enemies and those who persecute us (Matthew 5:44). This doesn't mean we don't use God-given wisdom to confront a situation in a mature matter, but we do it without malice and anger.

We are to allow God to be our vindicator in life. Some of the hardest prayers to pray are for others who have hurt us. Praying for them helps our hearts to become forgiving and brings great peace.

We work hard to make a living. Grasping tightly every dollar we make to ourselves appears to be the only way we can get ahead. But God explains that if we will give, it will be given back to us and we will receive even more than what we gave.

How can that be possible? I don't know -- but it seems when we are willing to release our grip, he opens the windows of heaven (Malachi 3:10). It pleases God's heart when he sees us help those around us. It gives us a good feeling inside as well.

God's principles can, oftentimes, appear mysterious and backward to us. But when we are willing to turn our lives upside-down and obey them we can find the sweet aroma of living a blessed life.

• Annettee Budzban is a Christian author, speaker, life coach and nurse. She can be contacted at Annetteebudzban@aol.com or (847) 543-8413.

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