Modern Christians often have a preconceived idea of how our lives should go. This idea involves little or no adversity and is very logical. For example, I fully expected God to meet me in Tennessee with a bag of money and the perfect “ministry” opportunity. Then everyone would see how God works and be in awe of His power. The problem is that this preconceived idea is not reflected in the Bible. Here are some examples:
– Joseph has a dream of greatness, then he spends years in prison.
– The Israelites are delivered from Egyptian captivity only to be stranded between the Egyptian army and the Red Sea.
– The Israelites are promised a land “flowing with milk and honey” then they wander in the wilderness for 40 years.
– David is told he will be king of Israel then he finds himself hiding in a cave, fearing for his life.
– The man Christ Jesus hanging on the cross cried out “my God, my God why have you forsaken me?”
– The disciples were called to leave their family businesses to follow a so called Messiah.
Each of these examples resulted in God’s power and perfect planning being displayed; however, that is only seen in the revealing light of hindsight. Any rational person witnessing the events above, first hand, would be very disappointed. Joseph’s family and friends would have credited Joseph’s dream to eating some bad mushrooms and people would talk about David as the “so called king” while he hid in caves.
Our modern Christian world has made these accounts into quick, clean Bible stories that happen in the blink of an eye and make perfect sense; however, they ignore Joseph’s years in prison and all of David’s psalms of lament about his cave dwelling years. According to the Biblical accounts, when God is up to something it does not make sense to ANYONE. I stress anyone, because Christians tend to point to examples of God instructing them to do things that will not make sense to “worldly people”; however, God does not appear to relegate his nonsensical activities to the mind of “worldly people”.
My family and I find ourselves in the middle of a situation that does not make sense (to ourselves,”churchie” people or “worldly” people); however, we are at peace. Not because the situation dictates peace but because we know that we are exactly where we are supposed to be. We are fully aware of the need for and benefit of adversity and we welcome it as a much needed tutor. We set out to achieve a story of greatness for God; however, we failed to fully grasp how crazy that story may look. We have a greater appreciation for the verse that says, “count the cost, pick up your cross and follow me”.