“For My thoughts are not your thoughts, nor are your ways My ways,” says 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.” Isaiah 55:8,9
Is God calling you to do something that doesn’t necessarily make sense? Are you hesitant because it seems so irrational? Good news! God doesn’t always have to make sense. There are several incidences in the Bible that come to mind: Gideon, Jonah, Naaman, Esther, and Jehoshaphat just to name a few.
When I was twenty-three years old, I was the receptionist at a large church in Chula Vista, CA. The Christian Ed director could not find anyone to take the 8th grade boys’ Sunday School class where there was anywhere from 7-9 boys on any given Sunday. Somehow Dean persuaded me to take that class. The class was filled with high-energy boys and there were Sundays when not a lot of teaching took place. It really didn’t make one bit of sense to put me in that classroom. All the wisdom in the world said it wouldn’t work.
“But God”…that’s one of my favorite phrases in the Bible because that means God is usually about to do something remarkable. But God knew exactly what He was doing when He put me together with those teenage boys.
One frustrating Sunday I realized I was totally ill-equipped to teach the boys and God had made the worse mistake of His (and my) life. My teaching style at that time was mainly lecture where I talked on and on, blah, blah, blah, blah. Even I was bored. At the end of that class and without giving it much thought, I felt led to make an announcement. I told the boys that the next Sunday we were going to have a debate. I gave them a scenario and they had to pick which side of the debate they wanted to be on. They could use data from any source they wanted but they also had to use scripture to support their side of the issue. At the end of the debate I would declare one team a winner.
The scenario went like this: An army officer has knowledge of highly sensitive intelligence information. It is so sensitive that he has a suicide pill on him which he must take, if ever captured. He is captured, takes the pill and dies. He was a Christian. Did he commit murder? Did he go to heaven?
I was totally shocked at what came out of my mouth that Sunday morning but I was even more shocked when those boys showed up with their Bibles in hand the next week ready to debate. I sat through the entire class with my mouth hanging open. I began to panic because they were so well prepared on both sides of the issue and I didn’t know which side to declare the winner. Desperately praying, I asked the Lord for wisdom. And then it came to me in the split-second I needed to make a decision. Both teams won. Some of those boys, probably for the first time in their lives, willingly picked up a Bible. I told them I wasn’t the Judge who could determine the right and wrong of what the army officer did, although a loving God would judge fairly. But I did know both teams were winners because they eagerly dove into the word of God to find answers for themselves.
Those boys were changed that day but so was their teacher. I realized they needed a variety of activities and challenges to keep them engaged. There were still crazy Sundays because they were still full of crazy energy but we started having fun. We also began hanging together outside of the classroom. We swept the church’s massive parking lot. We went out for pizza. We went to a nursing home after church on Sunday a couple of times. Once I was married, we had them over to our house for a Sunday afternoon cookout. When I look back over the years, the time I spent with those crazy teenage boys are some of my fondest memories.
Is God calling you to do something that seems absolutely irrational to the logical mind? I’m not saying that you shouldn’t count the cost but on the other hand, you might want to tear up that pro and con list you made and trust God…even when He doesn’t make sense.