You are crazy! Those were my first words to God. Yes, God. The Creator and Sustainer of the universe. The Alpha and the Omega. The Source of life and morality and goodness. At that moment, I was telling the One who could kill my soul that He had lost his mind.
Shocked? Some of you may be thinking I was being disrespectful. I get that. Years ago, I would have swallowed those words, although my heart would have been screaming them. And since God already knows my heart …
You get the idea.
Anyway, I remember the moment well. I was driving down the road, on my way home from work. I was pregnant with our first child—pregnant enough that my round belly was just an inch or two from the steering wheel. Focus on the Family was on the radio, and James Dobson was interviewing a lady who homeschooled.
And God said to me, “You need to do that.”
For a moment I was confused. I’m sure my eloquent reply was along the lines of, “Huh?”
And then God got specific. “You need to homeschool this child.”
I already told you what my response was. I lasped into one of my Moses-like moments, listing all the reasons why that was not a good idea. Homeschooling takes great discipline. I’m not a certified teacher. I’m not good at half the stuff I’d have to teach.
I’m pretty sure I ended where I started. God, You’re crazy.
An example from Dr. Luke
In the book of Acts, author Luke tells about the amazing conversion of the apostle Paul. In his younger years, Paul was called Saul, and he persecuted Christians. Convinced he was doing the right thing, he asked the High Priest for permission to track down Christians in Damascus and bring them back to Jerusalem.
As he was on the road, the Lord intervened. Paul encountered a blinding light and an audible voice: Why do you persecute me? After identifying Himself, Jesus told Paul to go to Damascus and wait for further instructions.
And then the Lord called Ananias.
The Lord told him, “Go to the house of Judas on Straight Street and ask for a man from Tarsus named Saul, for he is praying. In a vision he has seen a man named Ananias come and place his hands on him to restore his sight” (9:11-12).
As His habit seems to be, the Lord simply told Ananias what to do. No assurances that things were going to be okay. No hint that God would protect Ananias or his family from negative consequences.
Ananias was uncertain.
“Lord,” Ananias answered, “I have heard many reports about this man and all the harm he has done to your holy people in Jerusalem. And he has come here with authority from the chief priests to arrest all who call on your name” (9:13-14).
Can you hear the nervousness in his words? He didn’t quite call God crazy like I did, but I wondered what his heart thought.
But the Lord said to Ananias, “Go! This man is my chosen instrument to proclaim my name to the Gentiles and their kings and to the people of Israel. I will show him how much he must suffer for my name” (9:15-16).
Ummm … yeah. Still no reassurances for Ananias here. Paul would get the benefit of foresight, but Ananias didn’t. Perhaps it’s my own fears and doubts tainting the story, but I see an unspoken invitation hanging between God and Ananias. The same invitation that God held out to me when He told me to homeschool our daughter: Trust me.
What about you?
Luke tells us that Ananias went to heal Paul and encourage him with what the Lord had said. We don’t know what happened after that to Ananias, but Paul’s conversion and subsequent obedience to the Lord changed the world.
After a week of stubbornness, I too stepped out in faith and trusted God to show me how to teach my children. My girl has since graduated, and her two brothers are working through high school— the three of them homeschooled their entire lives.
Not that every day was easy. Not that I didn’t occasionally look toward heaven and ask, “Are you still sure about this?” Or, “Can I give up now and send them to school?” But the benefit to our family has been significant. I wouldn’t change that early decision for anything.
What about you?
Either God has already given you an opportunity that you question, or He will soon. You may be filled with doubt and be hesitant to move forward. That’s okay! Just don’t let the doubt cloud the real issue.
Step out in faith. Trust God.