Thursday, December 30, 2021

When Being Foolish Is Wise

Suggested Reading: Luke 1:26-38

When my wife and I found out we were expecting our first child we were in a pretty decent place financially. We were working as houseparents at a children's home with a sufficient salary and excellent health insurance. We didn't even have to pay co-pays when we went to the doctor to check on the baby. Everything was paid for. We were set. But about four months into the pregnancy my wife and I came out of church one Sunday morning, looked at each other and said, "God wants us to leave." We didn't know where we were going or how we were going to keep paying for insurance. We didn't know how we were going to provide for ourselves or if there was a job lined up. We just knew God wanted us to leave. It didn't make a lot of sense. The wise thing to do would be to search for another job first or to wait until Kim had had the baby. But just leaving right then without a job or insurance? It didn't make any sense. Things weren't supposed to work that way. Surely we were misreading what God was telling us, right?

In scripture, another young girl experienced the call of God on her life and it didn't seem to make much sense. An angel appeared to Mary and told her not to be frightened because she had God's favor and then the angel laid out a future for her where she would give birth to a son who would save God's people from their sins. Mary was betrothed but not yet married and the angel seemed to imply that this child would come soon so Mary asked, "How will this be since I am a virgin?" (Luke 1:34, NIV).  God's call through the angel didn't make a lot of sense. It wasn't how things were supposed to work. You were supposed to be married before you had a baby. God was getting things out of order. Getting pregnant before you were married wasn't wise and it wasn't in the right order. What was God thinking? Doesn't that famous Christian money talk show guy say that God will never ask you to do anything that isn't wise? So what in the world was going on?

What Mary accepted, and what we sometimes forget, is that anything is possible when God is in it, that an unwise course of action becomes wise when God specifically calls you to it.  God needed a virgin to give birth to make a statement to the world. God needed my wife and I to leave our job without a replacement in order to free us for something else and God had already worked out how he would provide for us. But, in both cases, the plan was so inconceivable at the time that stepping out in blind faith was the only way things could work out. God's call doesn't always make sense. At times, it seems to go out of the proper order of things. Sometimes it seems unwise. Once in a while it might even appear indecent, like Mary getting pregnant out of wedlock. But when God specifically calls you to do it, and only when God specifically calls you to it, the crazy, foolish and indecent can lay the foundation for the miraculous, allowing God to do things so far beyond the normal that we can't even conceive the possibility until it becomes reality.

If you are experiencing God's call and it doesn't seem to make sense, don't just rule it out as impossible. God specializes in the impossible and God uses people who are willing to try the impossible and the foolish when he asks it. He makes virgins give birth, men walk on water, fire fall from heaven, invading armies flee from shadows, dry pathways appear in the ocean, lame men walk, dead men rise, empty flasks of oil continue pouring, and bread falls from the sky. God will always provide the capability to answer his call. If God is calling you, don't hesitate, just obey.

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