God’s Priorities

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.

Uh, right!

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

From home

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21 Responses to God’s Priorities

  1. sonnika says:

    Bless you Arthur! You and everyone else echoed my feelings exactly!! It is sooo encouraging to know this is the reality for most of us – even if we are sons of the most high God. He DOES hear me; he doesn’t love me less.. Thank you that we can be vulnerable with each other, and for the insight and love of brothers and sisters in Christ.

  2. This touches me SO deeply because it resonates with my spirit and where I’m currently at (and have been so many times in my life)!
    Thanks for putting words to something I could never have!

  3. Jeanette Nafziger says:

    So, I’ve been rebuked – again :). Thank you for this word. I was screaming some “not so nice” thoughts this morning to the Lord with the thought in the back of my head that He “doesn’t seem to be listening anyway, so I might as well say what I’m thinking”. I needed this reminder and change of perspective. He is almighty God and my faith walk at this moment in time is to know that He is in control. The world may come crashing down hour after hour, but I am in His arms – I need to remember that and trust in that and in Him. “They that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength… they shall mount up on wings as eagles!”

    Father, forgive me for my rash words and harsh reactions to the circumstances surrounding me. I choose to worship You for who you are, to Glorify You so the world can see You for who you are. I worship You because Your timing, Your plan, Your will is perfect. Glorifying You is my sole purpose. Strengthen my faith, open my eyes. Send me opportunities to glorify You despite my present struggles and discomfort. Amen.

  4. Megan Caldecourt says:

    What I really appreciate about this perspective is the refusal to try and make God behave. It would be so much easier to form some kind of one sided opinion about the nature of God, something that would make some sense out of the seemingly erratic behavior. This way, though it leaves the question of your pain wholly unanswered, you are continually reminded of the Incomprehensible God: “thanks for the treat, but I really don’t get You …” It stretches, but it helps keep our awe alive.

  5. Darcy says:

    Thanks for the compass. Gives me some thing to hope toward, lets me know it can be done.

  6. Sue says:

    I so agree, you have taught me to look around see the fingerprints of God around me and for the opportunities for growth in every painful situation (and I have had a few of them!!). God is in every situation, good or not so good, and I have learned that my response is the key!

  7. Kate Tarbill says:

    I went through surgery and radiation for breast cancer recently. It wiped me out so badly that all I could was lie there on the bed. God was in the Bahamas it seemed. But one day I was lying there in bed thinking of how badly I hurt and how tired I was and it was like He placed dozens of roses on my bed and over me. The perfume was overwhelming. I tried to think, did I wear perfume? No, and certainly I would not wear THAT much perfume. It was wholly intoxicating and I am ever so grateful to the God who sends roses to the hurting.

  8. Kate B says:

    In the last many months I have become more and more at peace with God’s sovereignty . . . which has brought me to this new place in worship. Where worship comes in the midst of an unhappy circumstance, simply because He is sovereign and I can trust that. I’ve only just arrived here, it is new ground for me, to be sure. But good ground. I’m thankful for this post . . . it felt like some added nourishment for me in this new place.

  9. Lorry says:

    So thankful for the lifeboat of worship and praise; equilibrium and quiet joy are found therein.

  10. Linda says:

    You’re so right, there is always something to be thankful for, sadly most choose to “overlook” those divine glimpses and instead pout about what God has not done. Silly Christians 🙂

  11. Roslyn says:

    Though there be no cattle in my stall, yet will I praise Him ~ Yes, amen and amen. In little things, in big things, all day, every time, God is Good. I greatly need to embrace and breathe this posture daily … especially in light of what is just to come on this earth.


    Well said, brings a lump in my throat and tears in my eyes ~

  12. Olivia says:

    So glad to know I am not alone.

  13. Ronda says:

    Gosh, I haven’t pondered such thoughts since early this morning as I poured out my heart in my journal! :o) Thanks for, once again, bringing the timely reminder that God is God and does all things well. We will and DO see His goodness in the land of the living.

  14. Jim Alseth says:

    God’s timing is beautiful. I JUST READ the crucifixion account from Matthew this morning before I opened your blog, Arthur.

    Yes, I agree, in response to God’s selectivity, what really helps me is knowing that God is up to something I can’t see (in the moment) and that there is a really good reason why it’s happening. This has been so freeing after many years of listening to the enemy’s accusations of God’s abandonment.

    It seems also to be one of the main components of intercession, knowing that somehow and in some way we are partnering with God (or being tutored by him).

  15. Debbie Goodwin says:

    Your blog was very timely, as I am in a place of exquisite pain over something. Father has however brought me to the place where I can say with honesty that I trust his judgement. Who am I a mere person to tell the King of Kings that his judgement is faulty. So I trust, waiting upon him to mov in an area, that has been a source of pain and frustration for a very long time.
    However after listening to today’s Daily blessing, I now have the understanding of what He has been doing in my life, and why. I can rejolice in the midst of pain. I can rejoice that my Father was/is building substance into my life, so I can make an impact for his kingdom. There is nothing that I want more than to make an impact for the King and His Kingdom!

  16. Mary says:

    Your messages are always on target, your insight clear and precise. It takes a while to digest the depth of this message. It is accepting the loss for a better plan. I can’t say anything better than you so I just praise Our Lord that He uses you to feed and encourage the fold. Blessings.

  17. Donna says:

    love this Arthur, you’ve echoed what i’m sure many of us feel. I kinda feel like I’m in one of those silent seasons at the moment but I attribute some of it to grief from losing my dad; rejoicing and sorrow are hard balls to juggle at the same time. At this point in my journey I’m chewing daily on the verse “He will guide you with His eye”
    today is a gift, that is why they call it the “present”
    bless you and your household,

  18. Deborah says:

    YES AND AMEN!!! You expressed this so very well. It is so important to remember His attention to detail–His personal wonders and miracles when I/we are in dynamics that say to us, ‘you will never win–it will always be like this.’ Thank you.

  19. Katharine Fazzari says:

    This so confirms once again what just happened in the life of my son who has been kept waiting for a second interview for weeks only to finally have a confirmation response that simply said ‘the position has been filled’. The crushing disappointment after a positive first interview, numerous promises of the second for a position that would of been the ‘answer’ for the moment was beyond words but the thought that came to us both was that we would look back and say thank you again to Father who in His infinite wisdom knew what was to come. Thank you Arthur for articulating once again the absolute truth of the reality of our lives as noble subjects of our great King!

  20. sandra says:

    thanks Arthur , this about typifies my present spritual location -hopefully I will get to the worship bit real soon . ( ^ _^ )

  21. Tracy says:

    Wow!! This kind of thing happens to me almost daily. I sweat the big stuff, He takes care of the small stuff (the details)…and I know everything is done purposefully and lovingly (as you say also with exquisite timing). My default position is one of joyful appreciation (for the small unexpected details), prayerful expectation (for the big stuff) and an unshakeable knowledge that I only see through a veil, but Father sees it ALL!

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