33 Things You Could Never Figure Out on Your Own
While reading in Jeremiah today (MSG version), a chapter title really stood out. To be honest, most chapter and section headings in various versions of the Bible seem contrived to me, often cheesy at best and not exactly theologically accurate at worst. But this particular one caught my eye, and I found myself pondering its implication beyond the few verses that were listed below. The title was “Things You Could Never Figure Out on Your Own”, in reference to Jeremiah 33:2-3, “Call to me and I will answer you. I’ll tell you marvelous and wondrous things that you could never figure out on your own.”
Following Christ often, if not always, means taking unexpected paths, surprise endings and approaching life in a way that defies our human understanding. After letting my mind wander back through my life experiences thus far, I thought I would pound out a few things I don’t think I could have figured out (or at least would not have fully appreciated the lesson) apart from the teachings of Christ and His leading me through the twists and turns of this journey. In honor of the 33rd chapter of Jeremiah, I will stick to 33.
1. Being cool is highly overrated.
2. Being popular is meaningless, and often even dangerous to the health of your soul.
3. God loves to hide in the quiet places.
4. What we often mistake for Godly anointing and calling is sometimes (ok…LOTS of times) just human achievement.
5. God does not love leaders more.
6. To God, EVERY human being is a follower….or supposed to be. The secret to this lesson is in how you define “follower”. And how you define “leader”.
7. God loves to hide in the ugly places.
8. The best kind of friends are actually the ones who drive you the craziest.
9. You can’t fix every relationship. Sometimes the deepest form of love means having to walk away, but continue to hold that person in your heart.
10. Forgiveness is painful. It will cost you.
11. Forgiveness does not always mean restoration of relationship. Forgiveness can go one way, but restoration must go both ways.
12. Sometimes, being lonely is the best thing for you.
13. You are never actually alone. But everyone feels at some point in their lives that they are.
14. God loves to hide in the empty places.
15. Prayer is active, not passive.
16. Prayer is not “the only thing I could do…”, it is the FIRST thing I SHOULD do.
17. God doesn’t yell. (Well….maybe occasionally. If you’re a little hard of hearing…..)
18. Sometimes God “speaking to you” means He is waiting quietly until you figure it out.
19. When I give or serve to make myself feel better, it actually changes nothing.
20. When I give or serve until it truly costs me something, it doesn’t always “feel good”. But it changes everything.
21. I am nothing.
22. To Christ, I am everything.
23. I can offer the world nothing of value.
24. Through Christ, I can do the impossible and am priceless to the world around me.
25. Every strong moment I have ever had, every wise word I have ever come up with, every amazing talent I have ever showcased, doesn’t come close to the impact of my darkest day, my weakest moment, my most broken offering.
26. God loves to hide in the broken places.
27. I am not good.
28. I am capable of great good.
29. I am not evil.
30. I am capable of great evil.
31. I am not a woman, I am not a man, I am not a slave, I am not free, I am not a Jew, I am not a Gentile.
32. I am FREE. ( I know this seems to contradict #31….the lesson is in the paradox).
33. I am FREE. (Yes, I know I said that twice.)
I’m sure you can add much more to the list. I will sign off at 33.