What I’ve always meant is that God in His providential dealings with us throughout our lives is as unpredictable and uncontrollable as the wind or the waves. We tend to think that, since He is the same yesterday, today and tomorrow, we can have a pretty good idea about what will happen in our lives. And yet, isn’t it true that we all know from experience that few things ever turn out just the way we plan and anticipate? In point of fact, very often the Lord does things that are entirely unexpected and even inconceivable to us in advance. But as time marches on we begin to see the wisdom and glory of God in these odd things.
Today, the day before our wonderful trip to Ireland, I am struck again about the oddness of our good God, who has made this holiday possible through the graciousness of our astonishing benefactors. Little did they know how deeply meaningful it would be for me, and for Amy – already. If, God forbid, we were unable to go on our trip, my life has already been made richer and more beautiful.
- Through their gift to us I was given greater insight into the significance of how God’s love is mediated through other people. Question: What kind of people can take it upon themselves to save thousands of dollars over a ten year time, for friends that they seldom have any contact with at all? Answer: those who are inspired by the Spirit of our Odd God. I know more about God and His love for us than I did before we received this gift.
- I love history. Mostly because I love to see the oddness of God, and history gives us a record of how marvelously odd he is. Once again, I have come to see that many things I’ve always thought about certain parts of history were not so accurate. I won’t go into the details here about the errors I so ferociously held to and have now repented of – just ask me if you’d like an ear-full. Suffice it to say, as I have been preparing my mind by reading piles of books, watching scores of documentaries and movies about Ireland. I now have a much larger and brighter view of the Irish people and the wonderful gifts we’ve inherited from them. Even more, I’ve come to love them for the pity I feel for all that they’ve suffered. Even more than that, I’ve come to have a much clearer view of Europe (and the British in particular) than I even had before. And most of all, I have been forced, through this rehearsal of history, to consider the larger questions of how Christians of every stripe and variety should relate to one another, and the world around us. All that to say, I know more about my world and my place in it than I did before we received this gift.
- Providentially this holiday comes at a very fitting time in my life. I have a felt need to go away, eat and drink, to relax, to think, play with Amy, and to seek the Lord anew. My prayer is that I will be able to return with new vigor and vision for the future.
To our family and friends: Thank you for your interest and support.
To our kind patrons: May God bless you abundantly with His loving oddness so that you are repaid many times over!