It’s always boggled my mind when I hear stories of great terror, despair, and anguish turn around to ones of peace, hope, and joy. Many know the story of Jim Elliot, how he was murdered for sharing the Gospel. His wife, Elizabeth, overcame this heartache of loss and went on to lead many to the Lord, whether directly, or because of hearing her testimony years later.
“And the angel of the LORD appeared unto him in a flame of fire out of the midst of a bush: and he looked, and, behold, the bush burned with fire, and the bush was not consumed. And Moses said, I will now turn aside, and see this great sight, why the bush is not burnt.”~Exodus 3:2-3
I suppose a bush that is on fire is not the rarest of things to see, but what was truly amazing was that it was not being consumed. Still very much alive and green, it was not dying under the heat of the flames.
But the kind of contradiction I want to focus on and the one that we see here in Exodus is the one that leads to a good thing. The type that gets one’s attention and then brings out the good.
If God would not have displayed such a thing in the view of Moses, perhaps he never would have known what God had planned for the people of Israel. Yes, I know. God’s plan is always going to come to pass, whether we get involved or not. But even more so my point. Look at what Moses would have missed out on if he wasn’t flashed something so unusual, so bizarre.
I’m convinced that God wants US to be contradictions. Walking, talking, breathing contradictions. Not in the negative sense, of course. But in the sense of making heads turn, directions changed, and lives altered because they see what is being done in us. Through us.
What if, like the burning bush, we all did what was not expected of us when under fire.
Maybe your burning bush looks like a smile when really all that person deserved was a slap in the face. (Or at least that would be your initial thought. ) Or perhaps your burning bush looks like a woman, staying in a marriage that doesn’t always feel like heaven, in fact, it rarely does. But she does it joyfully and lovingly because she made a commitment.
Or as I have seen in so many this year, maybe, just maybe, your burning bush looks like a thankful heart in the midst of crushing devastation.
I have no idea what you are going through, but I can’t help but think that God desires all of us to be a contradiction. Why? So that they that draw closer to you will see the real reason you are not being consumed by fire. God is in the midst of that fire and He’s got you.