He was pastor of the First Baptist Church in my college town, but he wasn’t typical.
When you entered First Baptist Church, Graceville, Florida, and saw Dr. Jerry Spivey* sitting on the platform chair or standing behind the massive podium, it was immediately clear he didn’t fit a First Baptist mold.
Dr. Spivey wore a plain suit, not the three piece variety with a cuff linked shirt underneath. He didn’t carry an entire Bible to the pulpit but sported a small New Testament. His sermons weren’t Greek and Hebrew laden orations. Just simple stories and applications even small children could understand. And if he came to visit you, he might be wearing shorts.
Neither was Jesus the stereotypical Messiah. No white horse…no diamond and gem loaded crown. Instead of conquering those who troubled his people, he allowed them to crucify him. And supposedly this was God’s plan. He came into the very world he created, but the world didn’t recognize him (John 1:10 NLT).
I’ve discovered this different kind of Jesus is still unusual almost 2,000 years later. Each night, I give him a list of requests along with the way I’d prefer he fulfill them. But more often than not, his answer expresses itself in a completely dissimilar manner than I demanded.
That his ways are higher than mine also makes him distinctive. With the ability to see the end from the beginning and everything in between, he’ll work in my life in much healthier ways than I could ever envisage if I’ll trust he knows best. My struggle-although I’m getting better at it, is accepting God’s will whether I understand it or not along with believing his plan is always superior to mine.
Instead of bucking God’s unusualness, accept it with excitement and enthusiasm.
Prayer: Eternal God, we admit our human limitations and our frequent ploys to run ahead of You and manipulate Your plans. Give us faith to accept what You offer even when it’s not what we ask for or desire.
*Name changed to protect the individual’s privacy.
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