So it’s amazing how the Lord has a thing about boxes. I’ve been seeing more and more how God refuses to accept any of our limiting definitions about how He does stuff and who He “really is”. Think about Jesus’ healing miracles. Every time he heals someone He does it differently. He has no method. Have you ever asked yourself why? He is the Ultimate Rebel! I can just see the religious leaders of the day making mental notes as they watched Him:

“Alright! He’s gonna heal this blind guy. Ok… pay attention… you spit on the ground and make some mud… then you stick it in the guys eyes… is he making clockwise circles or anti-clockwise?… Oh! Both… yeah… wax on wax off… ok great! I got it!”

(But a little later…)

“Oh he’s gonna heal this guy’s eyes. Let’s see if I can remember it – he’s supposed to make some mud first… wait-a-minute! He forgot the mud!!… it’s not gonna work!!!… should I say something?… Don’t wanta embarrass Him… Woah! No way! The guy says he can see! He must’ve been faking it! I wonder if Jesus knows?…”

(And so on…)

People love control. It’s what we strive for. The reason we study, the reason we want more money, the reason we marry (and sometimes divorce!) is because we desperately want to feel like we are in control of our own destiny. And this is why we see Jesus rebelling in the Bible and The Holy Spirit rebelling in Church history. For our own sakes and for His glory, He will not allow us to limit Him with our definitions.

Which brings me to what I actually wanted to say:

Lord, I am amazed at You!

Last week I went on an outreach with a bunch of teenagers to (wait for it) the beach! The South Coast to be more precise. We went, not in the relatively dry months, but (wait for it) in the rainy season! We brought no tracts, sound equipment or qualified evangelists, but we did have (wait for it) a gazebo with the words “prayer tent prayer tent” emblazoned on the front and a handful of bibs with the similarly seeker-friendly “can I pray for you?” printed in large black lettering. All this we did because we felt it was what God was telling us to do. So Sheldon cancelled the usual tried-and-tested youth camp and took roughly two rugby teams worth of teenagers to the beach.

Now you might have more faith than me, but I have to confess that the whole thing began to sound more and more like a monumentally bad idea with every passing day that brought us closer to D-day. I felt this way because of the folling reasons drawn from my previous experience with teenagers and outreach:

1) Teenage boys + bikini beaches = “unspiritual” thoughts (to put it tactfully).
2) Rainy days + beach outreach = preaching to irritated local surfer boys.
3) Bright red prayer bibs + overzealous teenagers = religious alienation.

A recipe for disaster in my books.

But to the Author of the Universe, a recipe for one of the most incridible outreaches of my life. People opened up to us and shared their needs and hearts with us. The teenagers were enthusiastic and effective. Even when it rained, we went into town and prayed for people on the streets and in the shops. Every side-alley had teenagers in it, praying for everyone from shop managers to homeless people.

It should never have worked… He forgot the mud… His ways are not our ways.