The speaker was one many people had told me about, so that night my anticipation was already growing.
He began talking about Jeremiah who was in prison and more or less did something utterly stupid - buy a piece of land that didn't make any sense, but that he knew God was calling him to do it and that God would use it. He transitioned from there to other stories of people in history who had done things because they knew God was calling them to do it, but to many people it didn't make sense. And when we look back in Christian history, it is filled with stories like these, people who have done "against the odds" sort of things, people who have done things when many have said they couldn't or that wouldn't work or "that's not how things have been done before". But it all made sense to God.
The quote he centered his speech around went something like this, "Live your lives in such a way that doesn't make any sense apart from the existence of God."
For we are called to live our lives filled with Jesus' Spirit as extensions of God, and apart from God's existence, our lives don't make sense. We are called to follow God and to do what God has called us to do. I know personally, for us, many thought our actions didn't make sense when we first moved to France, and then when we moved to Croatia. And now we're here as Church Planters, as pioneers, and we're confident God has called us to do just that. But like the song (this week) reminded me, that God makes things beautiful out of dust, out of us, out of seemingly nothing. And I don't mean to say there is nothing here but dust, that is not true.
God has been working here for a long time, and we are now to be a part of it, in a new way. Often, as denominational missionaries, we don't make sense to others, because we feel clearly called to partner first and walk along side others, before we try to "plant" or "grow" something of and on our own. We feel God has told us that bridges are needed here, not another "box" type of denomination that seeks to take or exclude people. We feel God has told us that waiting for Croatian leadership who can create a church that makes sense in this context is way more important than quickly creating a "Western Dave and Betsy" church. We feel God does have a plan to grow a Nazarene church here, and that it will be intentional about compassionate ministries; one that transforms, redeems, and gives life to areas of these communities where there is none. And we also know we cannot do this on our own, nor do we think we should. God knows how a church will begin, God knows what that church will look like and who it will reach LONG before we do. To many it won't make sense, but to God it makes perfect sense.