God’s priorities can be utterly crazy making some times.
Oh! You already knew that?
So I am going to vent anyway.
Take the crucifixion. It doesn’t get much dirtier than that.
He was crucified “outside the gate” as a sign of social alienation. He was surrounded by real criminals and labeled by the state. Then all the sins of the whole world were dumped on Him. And then the demons came to assault, insult and defile Him.
How much dirtier can it get?
Then He died and God went out of His way to be sure His battered dead body was placed in a brand new tomb — one that was really clean, not defiled by any other dead bodies.
Very important not to defile His body.
I experience the same thing. Often.
At the end of an awful day when I have been reviled, when equipment was cranky, when the demons were running wild, I get green lights all the way home. Love that TLC — in the midst of God appearing to be AWOL all day.
Or I have a really wretched ministry day and am feeling used and exploited by the people I am supposed to be serving in love. When we go out to eat at the end of the day, one of my favorite dishes is on the menu. Love that TLC for my body — while my soul is seething and my spirit is grieving.
We call it “Attention to detail.”
Then there was the day when my body ached so badly I couldn’t think straight. I literally had to lean against something during every wait at the airport, I was so depleted. In that swirl of pain compounded by long delays, God gave me an insight into a people problem. I have used it a hundred times since then. It was profound!
I love His awareness of how badly I needed to break through that mystery. I will treasure that gift for a long time — while I try not to remember how He utterly ignored my physical pain that day.
So what do you do when God so meticulously blesses you with incredible sensitivity and attention to detail — while utterly ignoring what you really wish He would notice?
Well . . . there is not much I can do about God’s selectivity, so all that is left is to be selective with my responses. I can choose to focus on what He gave, as proof of His tracking closely with me, or I can focus on what He did not give me, and thereby open the door to all sorts of unhealthy thoughts (aided and abetted by the Father of Lies who loves to point out God’s supposed deficiencies).
That is a tough one. My feelers work quite well, and I can feel pretty intense pain in spirit or soul or body or any combination of the above. So for me, it comes down to a test of faith.
Some people define faith as believing for funds or for healing. I think my biggest challenge for faith is to deal with the selectivity of God.
He is so meticulous in meeting certain needs with exquisite care and incomprehensible sensitivity. His mastery of timing is unparalleled. His knowledge of the finest points of my tastes and preferences is quite astounding. His access to resources to weave together amazing surprise packages in the most unexpected places is a source of frequent pleasure and amazement to me.
But then, there are areas where I weep and beg for His intervention. I argue my best case from the principles of Scripture. I pray and fast and endure and pursue only to be met with silence.
So with defiance — deeply marinated in pain — I choose to turn the silences of God into a platform for worship as I say, “I never would have written the script this way, but since You have, I am choosing to believe You see something I don’t see, and from Your point of view this is good and right and loving. Therefore I celebrate Your wisdom from my place of limited perspective.”
Copyright June 2011 by Arthur Burk