Friday, September 23, 2011

Common Sense or God Sense?

Let’s face it. Sometimes, God doesn’t make sense. Well, at least to our finite limited minds.

Last week I had the privilege of hearing Pastor Chaun Butler preach on obedience. She spoke on Joshua and the battle of Jericho. The people of Israel marched around the walls of Jericho, waiting for God to do what He said He would do, give them the land.

I loved her message. It got me to thinking. Then I took her teaching and expounded on it when preaching to my husband. Yes, I do preach to him at times, but he seems to enjoy it…at least that is what he tells me.

We were discussing the use of common sense. Or rather, when not to use common sense.

When God spoke to Joshua, I have to wonder if he didn’t for one split second think to himself “this makes no sense.” I mean think about. Jericho is fortified. There are walls, tall, wide walls standing between the city and the children of Israel. And God says to Joshua in chapter 6 verse 2 “See! I have given Jericho into your hand, it’s king, and the mighty men of valor.”

This is not your ordinary retaining wall!

This would have been me: Um, Lord, I’m not sure if you see this, but there seems to be a wall between us and Jericho, it’s king and the mighty men of valor.

The Lord goes on in verse 3: You shall march around the city, all you men of war; you shall go all around the city once. This you shall do six days.

About this time I would have been scratching my chin and looking perplexed. And what exactly does marching around the city do? This makes no sense! We are going to be the laughing stock of the entire known world. This is some new battle tactic!

And we all know the rest of the story, on the seventh day, the Israelites march around the city seven times, the trumpets blow, the people give a shout and the walls went down flat. I have heard that the earth literally opened up and the walls went straight down into the earth. Very odd. And, it makes no sense!

See what I mean? God makes no sense!

So, back to our conversation from this morning. My husband and I were discussing his job situation. And he said to me, explain this to me. If my job sucks, why wouldn’t I look for a better job? Doesn’t that just make sense? Isn’t that common sense?

My reply? Well, would you rather use common sense or God sense? In comparison to God’s sense, our common sense makes no sense! Confused yet?

It’s like this. No matter what God tells us to do, no matter how weird it may seem or how strange it may be it is a gazillion times better than what we could come up with. All we have to do is look at the out come. When we act in our own power, use our own common sense; we end up with human like results.

When we wait upon the Lord, and obey His voice, no matter how strange the orders, we get God’s results. Which would you rather have?

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

What Really Matters

I awoke to a driving rain pelting my bedroom window. It was early for this writer; it was not yet 10:00 AM. My internal alarm clock goes off at 10:30…almost every day. So, something was interrupting my beauty sleep.

I jumped out of bed and peeked through the window. The young trees in our neighbor’s backyard were bent at a 90-degree angle. For a moment I thought I must have woken up on the east coast and was experiencing the hurricane that had just whipped through. No, I was still in Wisconsin. Still in my own bed in my own bedroom experiencing weather rarely seen in this neck of the woods.

I jumped out of bed and just as I did, the power went out. The wind was fierce, making me think a tree branch would enter my private abode, uninvited. I looked out our other window. The patio table was rooted firmly in place and the trampoline seemed steadfast.

I quickly dressed then awoke the sick sleeping child in the room next to mine. I had not yet heard the warning sirens, but expectation caused me to err on the side of caution.

We snuggled on the couch and looked out our living room picture window at the angry, menacing sky. It took all of an hour for the worst of the storm to pass.

Giving my son some medicine, we headed upstairs where I could get him to snuggle back in and hopefully ditch his cold. I stopped to glance out the front door. Our trampoline was overturned and stood on its side up against a tree. I smiled and followed my son up the stairs.

He fell asleep in the relative safety of his mother’s arms.

A short time later, the phone rang. My husband decided to come home early to assess the damage and, even though he didn’t say so, to reassure himself that his family was safe.

After righting the trampoline, which has extensive damage, we decided to go for lunch. With the power out, cooking was not an option. I was thankful I had not yet grocery shopped. Less food to worry about spoiling.

After eating lunch with our daughter and son-in-law, we ran a few errands. One of which was a stop at a bookstore where we were delighted to see copies of my novel on the bookshelves.

We spoiled ourselves with a cup of coffee and then headed home.

It was a quiet evening. My husband, son and I played Sorry, Battleship and Aggravation, all by candlelight. Our son won all three games (after quite a few tears on the part of my son, I do admit to stacking the deck when I drew a sorry card and his was the only piece I could put back. I had already put him back several times and I just didn’t have the heart to do it again. That was the only cheating…promise!).

For the first time in months, we were all in bed by 10:30 PM. My husband and son were in our bed…and I was in the twin bed in my son’s room. He is used to sleeping with a nightlight. I am used to sleeping with a fan. There was nothing to drown out the noises of the night. Nor was there anything to soften the snores coming from my husband’s side of the bed.

(Three lit candles made our bathroom not so "scary!")

I stayed up reading by a little flashlight. I was reminded of my youth when I would hide under the covers, reading until the wee hours of the night. Not much as changed there. I still love to read.

Not only was there no fan, there was no air conditioning. It was getting hot. I moved to the couch on the main level. It was cooler there. I started in on my second book.

At 2:00 AM, the servicemen finally arrived. Chain saws and intercom voices carried in the still night. My flashlight shone on.

At 3:15, my eyes no longer battling the fatigue of my body, I headed for the comfort of the twin bed. Three minutes later our power roared to life. I turned out the bathroom light, turned on my son’s fan and curled up and went to sleep.

For the relatively low cost of a trampoline, my family turned off all electronics and spent an entire evening being in one another’s company. What started off as complaining on the part of our son because the playstation was unusable, turned into one the “best nights ever.” This evening, he even asked if we could do it again.

Thank you Lord for reminding us of what is important. Thank you for keeping us safe. Lord, I ask that you comfort every family who felt the impact of the hurricane. Lord, those who have lost loved ones, homes, belongings…Lord…be their peace. Be their strength. Be their joy. In the precious name of Your Son, Amen.