My dear Crazy Friend,
Thanks for your recent note of encouragement! It was good to hear from you, and your encouraging words couldn’t have come at a better time.
I noticed in your letter that perhaps you could use a little encouragement yourself. I know both by observation and reputation that you’ve been working hard at your craft and career and that you bring a lot of talent and ideas to the table. But as you hinted in your letter, in spite of all your prominent abilities, you feel as if you’ve encountered a wall that stands in the way of moving forward in your career. And it’s hard not to notice all the other people who seem to get to bypass that wall altogether, leaving you feeling frustrated and maybe just a little bit… well, jealous.
I’ve stood before that wall too, with nothing better to do than count the bricks that stand between me and achievement. In fact, every artist I’ve known who is worth his or her salt has stood there too, even those ones who currently seem to be moving forward with ease while you stand there and wait.
It’s a funny thing about being an artist. It requires a tremendous amount of faith to get up every day and try to move forward, and we’d like to believe that God sees that faith and rewards it with breakthrough. And I’m here to tell you that He actually does, in spite of the fact that you’ve now hit this obstacle that has you at a standstill. It’s just that His breakthrough may not look anything like what you expected.
When it comes down too it, God doesn’t make a lot of sense to us sometimes – in fact, sometimes He comes across as just plain odd. We really shouldn’t be surprised by His quirky ways, however, since He pretty much warned us that He was going to work that way in our lives. I was reading a Bible passage this morning that couldn’t be any more clear about that fact:
The LORD will rise up as he did at Mount Perazim, he will rouse himself as in the Valley of Gibeon – to do his work, his strange work, and perform his task, his alien task. (Isaiah 28:21)
It appears that God, who is good, has plans that just seems strange to us. Oddly enough, the Hebrew name of the mountain mentioned in that verse is instructive as well – Perazim
means “breakthrough”. Which is to say that the breakthrough He has for you more than likely will come about by His strange work too.
John the Baptist, one of the great heroes of the faith, had to struggle with God’s strange ways of doing business too. After years of proclaiming that Jesus was the promised Messiah who would deliver God’s people, John unjustly ended up sitting, of all places, in prison. Disappointed and wondering whether he had been wrong about Jesus in the first place, John sent a few messengers to find out whether he had made a big mistake. Jesus told the messengers to go back to John and report that all the prophecies that had foretold the signs of the Messiah’s coming were indeed happening – miraculous wonders were occurring and the good news of God’s Kingdom was being given freely to everyone. And then Jesus said something that cut to the quick of John’s real question of disappointment:
Blessed is he who does not take offense at Me. (Luke 7:23)
You see, God has His strange ways of doing things, and sometimes they can seem painful, unintelligible, and even downright obstructive to the very thing He has called you to do. Anyone who implies to you that you will always understand what God is up to has not yet fully lived life. In the end, however, God promises blessings for those who can embrace His strange ways without being offended by Him.
So take heart, my dear Crazy Friend: God sees the big picture of His Kingdom and the role He created you to play in it, and He is actively taking steps to ensure that you do
play that role. As in all the good things He does, it just may take some strange work to get there. God’s ways are strange, but they sure are extraordinary.
Your crazy friend,
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