first of all, let me say, in reference to what God is doing on this campus, in this city, and in my own life,
"glory to God, glory to God, glory to God, forever."
I can't help but address the amazing revival that is taking place all around me right now. And what i'm about write about is just one of the many ways that God has revealed Himself to me over the last week. The bible class I'm taking right now is called Gospel of Matthew, and it of course is a study of the book of Matthew. Our first assignment of the semester was to read the book in its entirety by Friday. So i set off to reading, and I have to be honest I was about as excited about it as a 4 year old is about green beans and carrots. So i prayed that God would show me something new, that He would come alive to me from these words and stories that I've heard so many times.
And He did.
The thing I keep seeing in the gospels, over and over again, is this:
God seems to do everything backwards.
Think about it. The Jews are anticipating this great and mighty king to arise and rule over them, wearing purple robes and a jeweled crown, to sit on a throne and embrace royalty. And yet from the second that Jesus arrives on this earth, His lifestyle reflects nothing short of the complete opposite of that. He is born in a barn in the middle of a field, His dad is a carpenter. When it comes time for his ministry to begin, instead of baptizing the people, He himself gets baptized by John the Baptist. And what I love the most, is that when it comes time for him to choose his followers, He does not go to the temple courts, to the "chief preachers of the law", He instead goes to the beach, and calls two fisherman brothers, He goes to a tax collector named Matthew, He calls these goobers and nobodies and He establishes His kingdom on this earth through them.
It seems that God takes delight in shattering our expectations.
Dave Clayton, the preacher at my church put it this way:
"Some of Gods greatest works begin in the darkest of places."
And the coolest part of this all, is that I see God working in this backwards way all around me, every single day. God has been using things and situations and people that don't make sense to start a revival on this campus. And it didn't happen in bible classes and chapel and church services, it began in parties and in bars and in the least likely of situations. And God is using the worst and darkest times of my life to reveal His power and love and forgiveness and grace to me.
You see, anyone can take something good and make it better. But only God can take something something terrible, something shameful or hurtful and use it for His glory. Only God seems to work in this most backwards of ways. And every time He does I'm reminded that this God we serve is "able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine." (Eph. 3:20)