Were you ever certain that God was asking you to do something that seemed completely ridiculous and a bit unexpected? That is probably a “duh” questions to some degree. God seems to always be asking us to do challenging things – I might even say bizarre by the world’s standard things.
Yesterday I sat at my son Peter’s school waiting for him to be presented with a Birthday Book Certificate. I’d donated a book to the school library in honor of his birthday. When I filled out the form, I wrote that the book was from Mom, Zach, Emma, Elizabeth and Allison.
Before he even received it, I was dreading hearing them read off those names minus one very important one. It struck me that maybe I should have included his father on that list. He doesn’t deserve to be there nor did he contribute to the book, but I believe it would have been a really cool thing to do for my son. Totally a lost opportunity to bless him.
Tomorrow is Pete’s birthday and I’m planning on taking him out to dinner after school. Can’t wait! His Dad just texted me and asked when he could give Pete his present. I decided to go for it and be the woman I want to be even if I wasn’t totally “feeling” it. I invited him to have dinner with us. After I texted him, I felt such peace even as I, with trepidation, tried to think of what a dinner with my ex-husband and our 5 children would look and feel like. Regardless of my anxious thoughts, it was the right thing to do.
I read a great book several years ago by Watchman Nee entitled, Sit, Walk, Stand. Listen to this quote, “Nothing has done greater damage to our Christian testimony than our trying to be right and demanding right of others. We become preoccupied with what is and what is not right. We ask ourselves, Have we been justly or unjustly treated? and we think thus to vindicate our actions. But that is not our standard. The whole question for us is one of cross-bearing. You ask me, “Is it right for someone to strike my cheek?” I reply, “Of course not! But the question is, do you only want to be right?” As Christians our standard of living can never be “right or wrong,” but the Cross.”
He goes on to share a story about a farmer in China whose neighbor began to steal water from his irrigation stream. Each time he would fix it, the neighbor would make a breach and steal the water. The farmer asked his Christian brothers what he should do. ”I have tried to be patient and not to retaliate,” he said, “but is it right?” They all prayed. (How I wish I would always remember to pray before I offer advice!) One of the brothers responded, “If we only try to do the right thing, surely we are very poor Christians. We have to do something more than what is right.” The farmer took the advice to heart and the next day he pumped water for his neighbor’s two fields before he pumped for his own. His neighbor was astonished by the farmers actions and began asking questions. Those questions led to his salvation! The farmer did what was unexpected and the results were beyond his expectations as well!
That’s my hope – my prayer – that God will give me the ability to do more than what is expected or understandable. I want to be like Jesus.
I’m thankful that I went with the Holy Spirit’s prompting – totally wasn’t my idea to be sure. Pete’s Dad didn’t accept the invitation, but maybe next year. That would certainly be unexpected!