“It’s just a store. It’s just a bench. It’s just a tree. It’s just whatever it is and nothing more…”
Appearances can be deceiving. God is trying to drive this hard fact deep into my brain, and more importantly, into my heart.
Yesterday, reading Isaiah 53, I was really moved. God wants to make clear to us that we just don’t see things the way that He does, nor will He do things in the manner that we’d like for Him do. And even further than that, the way we want to do things, typically leads to destruction.
We would never pick a poor and seemingly bastard son of a woman who looks like she just may be from the wrong side of the tracks to usher in the Kingdom of God. But God did. And He did every bit of it on purpose. Note for note, He sets the stage for utter disappointment by our power hungry and ‘success’ driven brains.
I’ll see if I can make this more personal.
I woke up this morning, and I re-looked at Is. 53. I read it all the way through, dwelling on each and every word. My wife, Yvonne and I talked about keeping our eyes open for the things that our natural instinct would tell us to turn away from, and embracing them as God. We were mostly speaking of situations.
Then, as I came in to work, something happened that made me so very disappointed. Things were not how they were supposed to be. People were not doing what they were supposed to do. And I was very upset.
The more I thought about it the more angry I became. “This is pathetic, and this isn’t God.” I was saying to myself. Then I realized that I felt this way about another situation going on as well.
The more I stewed, the more people were added to my list of fellow disciples that I was disappointed with. My list was growing exponentially. I was feeling horrible…
I have a very active imagination. My mind was speeding along, dicing and slicing all of the people whom I’m supposed to be encouraging and supporting in this part of the body of Christ. I was running out of friends very fast. This was getting lonely.
I was just overall disappointed. I had an idea of how things should be going here at work and at home with all of these people, and none of them were doing what I thought that they should be doing… and I was flat out disappointed.
Sitting there on my throne of self-righteousness, the whole chapter of Is. 53 came rushing through my mind. God was trying to do something else in me. He didn’t want me worrying anything but what He was showing me. He was showing me His face, and holding up a mirror to mine. I am a pharisee, and I don’t like God’s ways.
That’s what it came down to. There’s things that He wants to do around me, but I’m busy pushing my agenda. Too busy to stop and see His. It reminded me of Peter telling Jesus that he’d never let harm come to Him. Jesus called Peter ‘satan’ and commanded him to get out of His way.
Jesus said that Peter didn’t have the things of God in mind.
He said the same thing to me this morning.
Again… appearances are deceiving.
Jesus was not just a carpenter or a poor, homeless man from Galilee.
And my problems this morning, are not mere problems. In fact, they may not be a problem at all to God. They’re part of a plan and path that He’s laid out, and it’s a plan that I need to get in touch with. Because, this morning, I was disappointed with what the plan looked like. This morning, He set it all up to knock me down and lift me back up, seeing Him and all of His magic and wonder more clearly.
So what does that have to do with the ‘just’ guy… the Mutant from Mr. Magorium’s Wonder Emporium?
Well, just so you know, a ‘just’ guy is a guy (or girl) who sees only what they’re looking at and nothing more. As I said above. It’s only a baloon or a tree or a kid. It’s only a story. It’s only a star.
Some of us may see more, but I think that if we’re honest with ourselves, we all tend to fall into this now and then. Some more than others.
But in our walk with God, getting over this hump is imperative. We have to let Him reveal Himself in whatever form He chooses, no matter how disappointing or horrible it may appear to us. He comes to us in beggars clothing to break us out of our boxes and limitations.
I heard someone say a few months ago, “Be careful of your taboos.” The pharisees and Israelites had their taboos, and rejected the Son of the Most High God because of it.
As far as the mutant… He couldn’t see the emporium for the magical place that it was. Jaded by his own pre-conceived notions and standards, he missed out on the magic happening all around him. Later, shocked by the blunt force of a flying block of wood, his sight is awakened, and he sees what he’s been missing. Giving up his ideals, he finds that new life and joy, and a much deeper satisfaction is all around him. He’s alive.
It’s the same with Christ.
We go in with our ideas, and thankfully, He takes us in as we are. By faith we walk in the door and out of the cold world. But then, the process of undoing all of our ideas and opening wide our eyes begins.
Praise God that He loves us enough to not leave us with the glum and pitiful sight. May God let us see Him and all of His wonder… and never see ‘just’ a carpenter or a homeless man again.
“…we’re already on an adventure.”