(Source: The Christine Caine’s Facebook page)
So He said, “Go forth and stand on the mountain before the LORD.” And behold, the LORD was passing by! And a great and strong wind was rending the mountains and breaking in pieces the rocks before the LORD; but the LORD was not in the wind. And after the wind an earthquake, but the LORD was not in the earthquake. After the earthquake a fire, but the LORD was not in the fire; and after the fire a sound of a gentle blowing. When Elijah heard it, he wrapped his face in his mantle and went out and stood in the entrance of the cave. And behold, a voice came to him and said, “What are you doing here, Elijah?” Then he said, “I have been very zealous for the LORD, the God of hosts…
1 Kings 19:11-14
The trend continues with perfectly timed confirmation messages flying at me from every direction — wherever I turn, I read or hear reinforcement of the same things God is telling me through scripture and prayer. I was reading this passage in 1 Kings this morning and thinking how we humans tend to make the same mistake as the Israelites’ did — just like them, we expect that when God shows up, it will be big, flashy and dramatic. We focus on seeking out the grandiose and the dramatically miraculous. But although God can certainly do dramatic, as evidenced in the plagues of Egypt, the parting of the Red Sea and the Jordan and the Fall of the Walls of Jericho, more often He is in the mundane, everyday, less obvious, small things that we don’t associate with an almighty God.
God has chosen the foolish things of the world to shame the wise, and God has chosen the weak things of the world to shame the things which are strong, and the base things of the world and the despised God has chosen, the things that are not, so that He may nullify the things that are, so that no man may boast before God.
1 Corinthians 1:27-29
Yet it was not drama when God spoke in the gentle breeze. It was not the expected, standard way to win a battle when the walls came a tumblin’ down nor did it make headline news when the long-awaited Messiah showed up in Bethlehem as a baby instead of a conquering king. He did not pick the rich, the powerful, the influential people who had the reputation for “having it all together” or the know-how and experience to decorate a resume and impress the interview committee with surface details. Those God chose to use to do great and unlikely things, were not that would ever have been found, let alone considered for the position by a human search committee.
He did not use ordinary means to accomplish the tasks He assigned His chosen unlikely people either. Pointing a stick at a large body of water and having the path open up, speaking to a rock and having water pour forth, having food just fall out of the sky, a marching band concert as a battle strategy. Not exactly methods any human would have ever dreamed of if they were put in charge of the project. Yet from obedience, even in the face of what had to raise some eyebrows and cause some incredulity — “He wants us to do WHAT? Are you sure you heard that right, Moses/Joshua?” — came great miracles beyond all they could think to ask or imagine.
Now to Him who is able to do far more abundantly beyond all that we ask or think, according to the power that works within us, to Him be the glory in the church and in Christ Jesus to all generations forever and ever. Amen.
God’s logic is not the same as my logic, your logic or any great philosopher’s logic. It is not scientific logic nor political or legal logic. I cannot explain what God is asking me to do in anyway that will satisfy this human demand for logic and surety. The only thing I am sure of is that He is very sure of what He is doing and He will bring about a good result for me and my kids. No one would have looked at Abraham or Moses or Joshua in the beginning and tagged them as one to accomplish great things; and don’t get me wrong here, I am not saying this because I am inviting anyone to a pity party for me, but honestly, in my life, I don’t get many people who give off any kind of vibe that they think I am really capable of great things. I am not complaining or anything, but I tend to get lost against the backdrop. I don’t stand out. People don’t come to me and ask me to do stuff, lead stuff. I am OK with that — I am who I am, who God made me to be and if serving in the background is where He has me, then that’s OK. I have long since settled any kind of insecurity about this with God and I know who I am in Him and I like being me under His hand.
For My thoughts are not your thoughts, nor are your ways My ways, declares the Lord. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways higher than your ways and My thoughts than your thoughts.
Nonetheless, when I look at my circumstances and consider the plethora of mistaken assumptions that said circumstances cause many people to make about me, my character, the kind of help I need, my job skills, my know-how or savvy about life in general, my parenting skills, the idea that God is in any of it looks pretty unlikely on all fronts from the human perspective. But then I remember that it is just such discounted, undervalued individuals, the ones from whom no one expected anything great, through which God has done some of His greatest miracles and written epic turn around stories. Far be it from me to puff myself up and brag that my circumstances mean that I am somehow “extra special awesome sauce” in God’s kingdom. I am not anything special on my own. My value comes in knowing who I am in Him — the beloved Daughter of the One True King! (Matthew West — Hello, My Name is…“) and letting Him work whatever wonders He desires through me. All the glory and honor goes to Him, not me! I can’t help but notice however, that we are unlikely people, in unlikely circumstances for greatness which puts us in the perfect position to receive an unlikely strategy to bring about a gloriously, unlikely outcome from the hand of our Almighty God who is infinitely good and good to me and for me. So forget logic –I will never stop looking for His hand and standing in confidence that He will come through for us no matter what!
Be strong and courageous for the LORD your GOD will go with you wherever you go. Joshua 1:9
I am not ashamed for I know in Whom I have believed and am convinced that He is able to guard that which I have entrusted to Him until that day. 2 Timothy 1:12