There is a very familiar story in the Book of Luke of how four men helped an invalid man to Jesus. They went to great measures to lower him through a roof-top down to where Jesus was. In this story Jesus heals the man and at the conclusion of the narrative this verse appears, Luke 5:26 “And they were all amazed, and they glorified God, and were filled with fear, saying, We have seen strange things to day.“
They said what happened was strange to them. This thought got me thinking about other incidences in scripture. I began to ask myself, how would it be if I were present at the time this actually took place? What would I have thought? How would I have reacted?
Just days ago we experienced what is known as April Fools Day. A time when some say or do something random or extreme and fool someone and then say, “April Fools!” It is a day when things sometimes happen that are strange or out of the ordinary, and unexpected.
I began to think of all the things that God said to man that, at the time, must have seemed similar to an April Fools joke.
For example, if I had been in Naaman’s place and was told that in order to heal my leprosy all I had to do was go wash seven times in the Jordan River. I probably would have anticipated the whole time that the servant or Elisha would have been on the shore just waiting until I finished the 7th time to yell, “April fools!”
How about Peter when he went to Jesus and said he needed money for taxes and Jesus responded, “Go catch a fish and look in his mouth.” Now if I had gone to catch a fish I would have been looking over my shoulder to see who was watching as I looked into his mouth, just waiting for someone to yell, “April fools!”
Then there was the time when the disciples needed to feed thousands of peoples and they asked Jesus and he said to go get that little boys lunch. Now really, if you were there would this have made sense to you? One little lunch. Was this going to be the first Lord’s Supper with a little pinch for everyone?
Ezekiel, was told to go preach to the wind and then to the bones. If it had been you, would you have thought it a little strange?
Moses was told to throw a tree in the bitter water. Joshua was told to conquer a city by walking around it, and the walls would fall down.
Gideon was told to battle nearly 135,000 Midianites with 300 men and they were only to arm themselves with a pitcher, a lamp, and a horn.
If you were there would this have not seemed like strange instructions, maybe like an April Fools joke?
Here is what is amazing, in every instance the instructions did not make good sense but every time there was success.
What I learned from this:
- God does not have to make sense to us.
- We simply obey the instructions even when they do not make sense and we also will see the victory, the success.
- The rest of our lives we must realize that when God’s plan makes no sense to us, it is His plan.
- I am not supposed to understand everything now. Peter surely did not understand but he still went fishing. Gideon, I am sure, did not understand but he still sent away everyone but three hundred and went after the Mideonites
- How great would God really be if we, as finite humans, could understand all about Him.
Many things may seem strange that God and leadership may ask of us as Christians, but if we obey as the 300 obeyed Gideon, as the disciples obeyed Jesus, we will always see the victory.
Man pulls April Fools jokes but God does not. So if you need to see, don’t be surprised if Jesus spits in the dirt and rubs mud in your eyes. It doesn’t make sense but it worked.
What is God asking you to do that does not make sense? In 1982 He asked me to move my family to a place I had never seen before and it did not make sense to me to leave family, career, friends and home but what an incredible life He has given to us.