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Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Call Us Crazy

 Yeah...go ahead and do it. Call us crazy.
 In this world gone wild with everything anti-Grace, it seems as though those of us who dare to choose the holier way are called "nuts," "weird," and all the other names in the book. It seems that, as our society becomes more against the God-pleasing way, they become more against us. Because we want to pursue the wiser path, to look to Him as our guide, we become more and more the "odd" ones. We begin to look like the ones who are out of step with the culture, who are old-fashioned maybe. Because we choose to walk a less trodden road. And thus, we are mis-understood. Criticized. Laughed off. And sometimes that fact can get us down. Discouraged. Defeated. 
 We can become the beaten down faith warriors who feel as though they must push forward in a battle that, at times, feels like they are doomed to lose. We fight but oftentimes with no hope. All we can see is the resistance. All we can feel is the pressure. All we can think upon is the fact that not everyone is for us. And sometimes not many are for us at all. 
 If there is one word that God seemed to put on my heart for this year it was: faith. Simple yet profound word. By it's definitions, it means: "complete trust or confidence in someone or something; strong belief in God...based on spiritual apprehension rather than proof." Yes...for many weeks now God has been trying to get me to understand that I do not need explanations. I do not need proof. I do not need to see or understand the whole picture all the time. I simply need Him. Jesus, only Jesus. All He is asking for is total reliance. And by depending on Him and placing all of myself at His disposal, I will see and experience wonders from His hand. It is a faith dare this year for me. A personal challenge to say "yes" to my Savior, even in those moments that do not make sense. It is a further stop on the Grace-Journey that causes me to lay my own ideas at the feet of Him who alone makes sense of everything. Just by being Himself for me. 
 As I have reflected on this concept, I have become more aware of how sick this fallen world really is. And it continues to push down on those devout souls who choose to fall into the everlasting arms of God Himself. It cannot comprehend how such belief could answer the deepest longings of the human condition. It cannot understand how those who decide to follow the Master can reconcile themselves to being different. "C'mon!" they say, "How can you really resist your desires for fulfillment on the basis of this God you say you know?!" Thus, the pure ones, the ones who want to see God, the ones who want to love God more fully, the ones who trust His plan above all else...they are told that they are "not cool." They are "behind the times." They are "too good." 
 But if you think about it, what these people who say these things really want is the same as what we want, too. They just don't know it. They chase after alcohol, drugs, sex, and the like because they want happiness. They want joy. They want love. They want peace. But they've looked in all the wrong places. And they've come up empty. So did we at one time, remember? 
 Remember those dark chapters we once walked through also? Those days and lonely nights when we thought God wasn't listening. Or maybe it was us who wasn't listening. 
Remember those times of looking elsewhere for purpose when the real life worth living was right in front of us? We just had to look up. And then be filled. If we truly recall our own years of wandering, of pretending that we had our own answers, of neglecting the hard road for the temporary things that only left us dry...if we truly recall those times...then who are we to judge those who still call out with broken voices into the dark?! Who are we to run from those who pressure us so when we are called to happily accept that we are on the side of God?! If He has assured us that He is for us, (which He is) then what room is there for fear?! What place is there for doubt?! Why should we be the defeated ones when we serve the One who overcomes the world?! 
 If we're honest with ourselves, we have no real reason to be afraid. No reason to live tentative lives. No reason to let ourselves get discouraged. Because we do not live this life for ourselves. We live this life for the One who gives us meaning. The One who is the breath in our lungs and the life to our souls. If we're about the things that please Him, there is no shame in that. Rather, we can be the truly joyful ones who sing in the rain, who praise in the pain, who laugh in the storms. That, my friends, is truly radical! That is something worth being mis-understood for! 
 So let them call us crazy! Let them carry on that we're not "with it." That we're "un-interesting." That we're "strange." We know who we are and who we belong to. We've chosen faith over fear, praise over doubt. We have set out on the journey toward Grace - the journey that takes us places we'll never even begin to imagine. We'll gladly accept the title of being the "crazy ones" because we're following a Savior that was once called "crazy" too.