"For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways," declares the Lord. "As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts." Isaiah 55:8-9
It should have been the worst day of his life. On November 2, 2015, Daniel Cohen, a 31-year-old father of five, was waiting at a bus stop when he was attacked by a terrorist. Cohen struggled with the terrorist but suffered stab wounds to his jaw, shoulder, chest, and stomach. Cohen managed to make it to a bus where passengers tried to stop the bleeding and save his life. As for Cohen, he was prepared for the worst and started to make his peace and pray. Thankfully, Cohen managed to get to a hospital alive where he underwent four hours of emergency surgery.
This is where Cohen's story gets interesting. During the surgery, doctors found a life-threatening tumor inside Cohen's colon. They were able to remove it, and with it, the danger that it posed. Upon learning about what had transpired, Cohen remarked: "The terror attack I underwent saved my life . . . The Creator brought me this operation in order to save my life, and in addition, the attack itself was miraculous in that I was not hurt in any vital organs. I have received my life as a present from all directions."
So, in the end, what should have been Daniel Cohen's worst day was his best day. What looked like an end to his life actually saved his life. God is great!
So many times in our lives, we think that we know what is happening to us. We think we know what is bad and what is good. I'm sure Daniel Cohen initially thought that being nearly killed in a terrorist attack was a very bad thing. Who could have guessed that it would actually save his life? And that's the whole point. We really have no idea how God is running our lives. What we think is good could end up bad for us, and what we deem bad for us might be the best thing in the world for us. Thank God we have a Heavenly Father Who cares for us and knows better than us what is truly good.
In the book of Isaiah God told His people (and us), "For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways . . . As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts."
I want to encourage us all to be inspired by Daniel's story. Let us remember that when we think that life has taken us in the wrong direction, we are actually be headed exactly to where we need to be. Everything works together for our good in the end. Even when we can't see how, let's trust God who can.
Indeed, His thoughts and plans are greater than ours.
With prayers for shalom, peace,
Rabbi Yechiel Eckstein
Founder and President