You may or may not remember the old chorus that was sung in many a church service back in the day that went like this: Praise ye the Lord, Hallelujah, Praise ye the Lord, Hallelujah… and so forth. As a kid I was convinced they were singing, Crazy the Lord, Hallelujah! I thought it was the coolest song ever until my mother clued me in on the actual words. Not that I’m for calling God “crazy.” He certainly isn’t, and I’m certainly not. But you’ve got to admit, that the way He works and the stuff He does sometimes sure does look crazy on the surface. Just read the Bible and you’ll know what I mean. It’s replete with one example after another of categorically “crazy” stuff- at least, as it looks to us in the natural, if not limited capacity of our human reasoning and understanding.
The often referenced passage of Scripture to somehow make sense of God’s messages and methods not making sense to us is Isaiah 55: 8-9 “My thoughts are nothing like your thoughts, says the Lord. And my ways are far beyond anything you could imagine. For just as the heavens are higher than the earth, so my ways are higher than your ways, and my thoughts higher than your thoughts.” Most of us respond to this with the viewpoint that God’s thoughts and ways are just not how we think or act; and that is essentially correct. The tension, however, is trusting God’s Word or way when it seems so crazy to us! Don’t tell me Noah didn’t experience some tension or had to work through the craziness of “it’s gonna rain, flood the earth, destroy everything and everyone, and I need to build this Ark thing God…??” Or, Jesus saying things like, “If you want to save your life you have to lose it…” What?? Again, “it seems and sounds crazy, but after all, you’re God and you’re on a different level than me, so I’ll give you that!” We accept that part of the deal. What we struggle with is the implementation piece; trusting in what God is saying and doing, enough to actually put it into practice.
At this point, it’s no longer a discussion about God having some “out there”, in our estimation, thoughts and ways; it’s more an issue of putting our faith (not our belief- faith and belief are two different things, and that’s another blog subject) in what God is saying and wants us to do. And for those who can pull that off, well, it’s epic! Consider John Patton, who is relatively unknown among Christians today. In the late 1800′s he served for 10 years as the pastor of a growing Scottish church, but God began to speak to him about going to the New Hebrides islands in the Pacific that were filled with cannibalistic peoples with no knowledge of the gospel. Years earlier two missionaries had ventured to these islands only to be killed and cannibalized! At the age of 33 Paton traveled to these islands with his wife and newborn baby. Within a few months his wife and child had died and alone he dug their graves and buried them. He faced threat upon threat to his life. But in the years to come countless cannibals came to Christ and churches across Scotland, Australia, and the Western world were mobilized to make the gospel known among the people groups around the world toughest to reach. Crazy, yet highly effective when one is completely and totally sold out to God and puts their faith into action!
God’s Word and ways to you may not always make sense in the natural, but two things will always be constant: 1) His Word and ways will always reflect and reveal the character and cause of Christ- never weird, wacky, or way out there in a perverse or twisted way, and 2) You will have to trust in God’s Word and way explicitly! Only then, will life and purpose and a sense of fulfillment make sense!