GOD’S OXYMORON – PETALS OF GRACE (EXCERPT)
God said the sun would shine
In the midst of an angry thunderstorm.
God said my hands would carry babies
From a dry and empty womb.
God said there’s an overflow
When the desert sand slips through my fingers.
It is God’s oxymoron, His specialty,
To call those things that be not as though they are.
IMAGINE YOU ARE all set in front of the white lines. Your sneakers are top-notch, with spikes, cushion springs, fluorescent
green glow, and bearing the Nike logo. You’re warmed up and ready. You flex toned muscles and feel them ripple. You’ve trained for months and years for this one moment of glory. You hear the cheering crowd and see the finish line only meters ahead of you. Just a quick burst and will make a new record. Your running mates are no match for the years of running up craggy mountains and down pebbly valleys, through muddy waters and thick bristly mangrove forests. You have raced against
time itself. You’ve done it all and with the best speed ever. Now this race on smooth solid ground with enhancements is a piece of cake. You take in a deep breath and wait for the whistle to blow. In a few moments, the race will be over. You imagine the medal, cradling the pure, solid gold disc while cheers of triumph thunder around you. This is a winner and that’s for sure.
The race starter holds up a yellow flag. He points at you and walks toward you. Your heart skips a beat and you wonder what you’ve done wrong. His looks are not menacing, yet you feel unsettled. You check yourself quickly to be sure everything is in order. Shoes and sports gear are the right type and fit. You stand perfectly behind the white line.
So now what?
He marches up to you and gives you the most bizarre instruction: You are to change direction. You are to run away from the finish line. How can you win the race if you miss the target? You give the race starter a questioning look, but he maintains a blank stare. Does he understand what his instructions mean? Does he even know running away from the finish line will cost you the race? Does he understand your years of training and all the hard work it has taken you to prepare for this moment in time? Does he understand you are ready, experienced, and able? Does he know this could possibly be your moment of glory? But most importantly, does he not want you to win the race?
Then the whistle blows!
Like a whoosh of wind, your running mates take off, and so do you but against the same wind that would have pushed you to the finish line.
Now let’s flip the pages of the Bible to a familiar character. In walks a seasoned and faithful servant of God. He’d just had a startling revelation. The God of the universe had a tête-à-tête with Abram and took him out in the evening to count the stars, which, God said, would be fewer than the number of children the man would have. When the man counted to one million, he could no longer continue, his exhaustion overtaking him.
Fancy that many children? Talk about an exploding imagination. But really, all Abram wanted was just one child, one little teeny-weeny pitter-patter. But no, God had to whet his appetite. Scores and scores of children, priests, kings, soldiers, mighty men of valour, women of destinies, and so much more would call him father. Then God painted a more grandiose picture of exceeding great reward, God being his shield, and made many more promises.
“Okaaay, I get the picture,” Abram responded.
“But, Lord God, what will You give me, seeing I go childless, and the heir of my house is Eliezer of Damascus?” Then Abram said, “Look, You have given me no offspring; indeed one born in my house is my heir!” (Gen. 15:2 NKJV).
Wow! So he needs just one little person and God shows him a million and more little people, as well as other benefits. What an oxymoron!
Do you find the opposite happening to you, especially on the heels of a promise from God? God opens your eyes to give you a glimpse of His wonderful plans for your life, and all you need to do with the keys He releases into your hands is simply to reach out and unlock the door. Then hell unleashes its fury, sending you hurtling in the opposite direction of God’s desired plans for
your life. Does that change anything? No! Maybe the time of the expected acquisition of God’s promise may falter, but definitely not the perfect timing for the release of the promise.
Who blows the whistle at the start and finish of any race? The starter. The starter knows the beginning, the duration, and end-point of the race.
In God’s semantics, opposites work for our good. You see, the Author of Life is your starter and my starter. He is there at the beginning of the race, the entire duration of the huffing and puffing, and at the finish line when you burst through.
Jesus Christ, our Lord and Savior, the author and the finisher of our faith, determines the finish line—wherever he puts the red tape, that’s where the finish line will be.
In God’s race there are no losers. He is at the beginning of the race and at the end of it. He alone determines where and when you finish, if you commit to Him and allow Him to blow the whistle. The only qualification for winning is to hear God’s whistle and run. It doesn’t matter where people deem the finish line. Only one Person determines your finish line, even when it seems you’re going contrary to everybody else’s direction. Once you have your eyes on Him, you’re right on course.
Does it seem you’re farther away from your destiny? Does it seem the very opposite of what God promised is happening to you? If God blew the whistle and you’re running in the direction of His leading, rest assured that you will not only finish, but you will finish well.