Thursday, January 28, 2016

That's a Strange Thing To Ask

Have you ever felt God leading you to do something but felt "No, that can't be right.  That doesn't make any sense"?  I have.  For example, when God told me to leave my paid teaching job to take up the occupation of a writer, I balked at the idea.  It didn't make sense.  I had always wanted to be a teacher.  I had studied and gone to college in order to become a teacher.  I loved my job and knew absolutely nothing about being a writer.  The whole idea seemed ludicrous to me, but after the Lord's insistent nudging, I finally gave in and surrendered to His will, even though it didn't make sense.

Today is another example of just such a thing.  As I typically do, I spent time in prayer this morning, asking the Lord to guide me in my writing and to give me the words to share with you today.  He did, but I shook my head.  "You can't be serious, Lord!"  He was.  Fortunately, I can type this from the privacy of my office because I'm sure my face is about to turn very red from embarrassment.  But the Lord commanded, and I have no choice but to obey.

Allow me to share with you another time that God asked someone to do something that made no sense.  This is actually in the Bible, but because it's not as grand as the Red Sea crossing or the calling down of fire from Heaven, I have a feeling it is often overlooked.  Still, it has a powerful message to convey, so embarrassing or not, here we go.

Thus saith the Lord unto me, Go and get thee a linen girdle, and put it upon thy loins, and put it not in water. So I got a girdle according to the word of the Lord, and put it on my loins. And the word of the Lord came unto me the second time, saying, Take the girdle that thou hast got, which is upon thy loins, and arise, go to Euphrates, and hide it there in a hole of the rock. So I went, and hid it by Euphrates, as the Lord commanded me. And it came to pass after many days, that the Lord said unto me, Arise, go to Euphrates, and take the girdle from thence, which I commanded thee to hide there. Then I went to Euphrates, and digged, and took the girdle from the place where I had hid it: and, behold, the girdle was marred, it was profitable for nothing. - Jeremiah 13:1-7

The word "girdle" is used to represent several different Hebrew words in the Bible.  For the most part, it signifies a belt or sash worn to hold up the robes of the men and women so that they did not drag on the ground.  There are other definitions of the word, as well, in connection with the priests of the Old Testament.  However, in this passage, the word literally means "undergarments."  (Yep, I knew that would make me blush!)

Okay, that being established, look again at what the Lord commanded of Jeremiah.  "Put on your undergarments, but don't wash them.  Now, go to the Euphrates and hide those undergarments in a hole in the rock there."  What?  Then, several days later, the Lord comes back and says, "Okay, go back to the hole in the rock at the Euphrates and dig up your undergarments that you buried several days ago."  Jeremiah did, and guess what?  They were messed up and no longer of any use.  Go figure!  Don't you hate it when that happens?

God did all of this to make a point to Jeremiah about the fate of Israel, but I have to wonder if there couldn't have been an easier way to get the point across.  Don't get me wrong, I'm not questioning God.  His ways are definitely not my ways, but I find it odd that He would choose such a strange task to make a point.  I can't even begin to understand why He chose this method of teaching.  Can you imagine if God came to you today and asked you to go bury your underwear in the woods?  What would you do?  Hopefully, you would obey, and that leads me to the point of today's post (yes, there is a point.)

We have already established that God's ways are not our ways and that His way of thinking is far beyond what we could possibly achieve.  That being said, in His ultimate wisdom, He may ask us to do things that seem ludicrous to us.  Take that job?  Marry that man?  Invest in that stock?  Become a full-time evangelist?  Befriend that girl?  To be honest, sometimes His orders make as much sense to us as if He'd asked us to go bury our underwear in the woods, and we balk at the idea of acting so recklessly.  But if God has commanded us to do it, it's not reckless.  It's obedient.  We don't have to understand.  It doesn't have to make sense to us.  (For example, writing this post about buried underwear does not make a lot of sense to me right now.)  The only thing that matters is that we do what God asks us to do.  He knows what He's doing, and He'll work all things out for our good and His glory. . . if we'll only obey.

Are you facing a difficult decision today?  Is God asking you to take a leap of faith that seems impossible?  If so, don't fret.  Trust God, and follow through with whatever He is asking you to do, no matter how strange it may seem.  And lastly, be thankful that His request doesn't involve your undergarments.  (See, it could be much worse!)

No comments: