Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Finding Christmas: The Divine Paradox


I know that Isaiah is not generally considered a comic read, but reading Isaiah 64 this morning struck me as so funny that I laughed out loud. Maybe I found humor in the words because I identified with the sentiment so strongly.


"Oh, that Thou wouldst rend the heavens and come down...
When Thou didst awesome things which we did not expect, 
Thou didst come down, the mountains quaked at Thy presence..."
Isaiah 64:1-3 nasb

I've felt like that before, and you probably have, too. (This is the Leanna interpretation) Isaiah had been waiting for God and was about worn out. I've been there. Desperate for God to do something. Anything will do. Just move, God. 

That's where Isaiah was. Just come and do something, God. How about something big and showy? Do something impressive and flashy, the kind of thing that scares us out of our minds because of how huge it is. Do something so big even the mountains will quake in response.

Isaiah wanted an enormous move of God that would impress everyone with its magnitude and power. It took hundreds of years, but God answered his prayer, and His answer took everyone by surprise.

God rent the heavens and came down. Wrapped in swaddling clothes and lying in a manger. It wasn't a joke. It was an answered prayer. It was so big and surprising that most people couldn't believe it, because, although it was huge, it looked so small.

The paradox of God is a delight to me. We want something big, and He does something big but disguises it as something small. So small that we have to look close and open our hearts to receive it. 

I've prayed for God to move in huge ways many times. A few weeks ago, the invitation at the end of the church service I had attended, as usual, was for anyone who wanted to come to the altar to pray alone, to have the altar ministry team pray with them, or to have prayers for healing, in addition to making a decision of some kind. 

More than a dozen people went down. Some prayed alone. Some prayed with ministers. At least one person went forward to request healing. 

As I watched the forward flow of people, saw their tears, recognized the peace in their faces as they left the altar, I understood something in a deeper way than before. 

Sometimes the move of God is so dramatic and flashy that every eye sees it and trembles. Sometimes the move of God is so intimate and personal that only a handful of people see it and tremble. 

Both moves of God are big. Both are "awesome things which we did not expect". Both are answered prayers.

As we celebrate the big move of God that seemed so small, the Baby Jesus in the manger, let's be sure to thank Him for all the ways He moves in our lives and celebrate the paradox that startled mankind and transformed our world. 

God sent His Son to save us all. Nothing could be more dramatic than that.
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In case you missed any of the past week's posts, here are the links: Finding Christmas: Remembering the Stripes,  Finding Christmas: Look to the RockFinding Christmas: The Rear GuardFinding Christmas: Prosperity and Success,  Finding Christmas: Prophecy FulfilledFinding Christmas: The Good Husband, Finding Christmas: The Sin Fast, and Finding Christmas: The Mission Statement

The most read post of the last week: Finding Christmas: The Good Husband.
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The Clay Papers (lessons in being moldable in God's hands, based on a series of pottery lessons) is available as a 99 cent ebook on Amazon. Click the link to see more. 
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