the beauty of the paradox

Just a few “A-ha!” moments from Tuesday night Bible study, worth reflecting on again:

Backing up a bit to last week, I ran into my dear friend, Sylvia, and she said last week’s lesson spoke volumes to her in a major point. She said simply that we interpret “resting in Him” as waiting for God to do something, instead of truly waiting on God. Now, that alone was worth popping over to the blog this morning, wasn’t it! Take a minute on that one and see if you don’t find yourself in that trap as well. Resting in God doesn’t mean waiting on Him to do what we want, or, for that matter, anything at all. Resting in God is waiting on Him, and knowing no matter what, all is well. Since I missed last lesson, I thought you might like this jewel. Thanks, Sylvia.

Last night’s lesson was a deep and thought-provoking one especially, as we started the sixth chapter of Esther. Again, I qualify what I write here as not necessarily what she said, but paraphrased so that I won’t violate any copyright on that which Beth is teaching. What struck me most was how God uses paradoxes to point to His purpose. He shifts events in ironic ways and it truly is the story of our salvation. Christ died that we might live. Christ Jesus sought each of us out to reverse our destiny: not simply our ultimate destiny of death, but our everyday destiny of relationship and purpose in Him. He often uses the things we hate about ourselves the most to fulfill that calling and destiny in Him. In other words, He redeems that which appears as loss and gives us purpose and meaning to be used in His Kingdom.

I realize each of these sentences could be a book, so take some time with them. There are big and mighty truths hidden in the paradoxes of life. I could give you plenty of my own examples, but I imagine you have a bag full of your own—how God redeems even the years the locusts have eaten and gives them back to us in the form of beauty and purpose. “He gives beauty for ashes, strength for fear, gladness for mourning, peace for despair.”

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2 thoughts on “the beauty of the paradox

  1. Annie, we have over 100 middle schooler on Wednesday nights now. Last night we had 17 new kids. After all the fun and games we talkedabout who this Jesus is and then they break into small groups to talk out the message. Last night we asked them if they could choose one of the following to describe where they were at in knowing Jesus. 1)hurting 2)skeptical 3)follower. Annie I had 17 in my Group and 2 student leaders.7 were just hurting/ 5 were hurting skeptical/ 3 were hurting followers/ 2 were skeptical followers. One of my student leaders was hurting skeptical. This world of freedom is painfull to young people. Today I laughed at the funny things we did in group and cried about their pain.Middle School….

  2. Wow- very thought provoking! I feel like I need to read this one over and over again until I understand it fully! Again… I am so grateful for what He orchestrated in my life! I wouldn’t ever invite it, or wish it on anyone, but I sure am grateful now!

    Thank you for burning your candle for us today! You are such a blessing… and your comment brought tears to my eyes!

    Love you-
    Angie xoxo

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