Displaced, Not Misplaced

After a long winter, I opened the shed. It was peppered with something resembling seeds. Except these “seeds” would only fertilize the ground they’d be planted in. If you get my drift.

On a quest to find the guest, we took item by item to disinfect, or throw away. One of the last items was a box up in a corner. “Shoes would make a cozy nest for rodents!” I told my youngest as I lowered the box. Behold, there lay Mickey mouse. He was the only one quiet as a mouse. I belched notes I didn’t know I could reach. Dropping the box, I ran like Phoebe in Friends, hands and legs flailing so hard as if disconnected from my body. (I wasn’t scared… I was terrified.)

For the next few days my schedule was rearranged by this tiny creature I strongly dislike. (More like “I hate!”)

This is not my first rodeo with God dislocating our routine, our house, our health, our travels, our ministry.

  • Hot water gushing at 1 AM as my husband is at a man’s retreat.
  • My husband’s heart-attack, four days prior to traveling to the States.
  • Diabetes type 1 discovered one day prior to traveling to the States.
  • Kidney stones, 1 week prior to traveling to the States, a-g-a-i-n. (Maybe we need to travel less to the States)
  • Starting a Ukrainian church while busy with an international and a Nepalese one.
  • Engine smoking on our way to the church retreat… And much more. (We told it to quit ­čśŐ)

You probably feel just the same. It’s unpleasant, or possibly stomach-churning as our perfectly-aligned snowflakes shift in our snow-globe. Be it small inconveniences, or bigger ones.

Dislocating us from our cozy spot is God moving us from good to great. It seems to be a theme in the Scripture: Noah, Abraham, Moses, Elijah, Ruth, Esther, Jonah.

God dislocated things at Christmas too, as Marius Cruceru, a Romanian Seminary Professor wittily observed.

Mary and Elizabeth, at the edge of fertility on both extremes. One best fit to be a grandma. The other, too young to cradle any child, let alone God Incarnate. Joseph leaves a quiet carpenter shop to become a refugee. Zach, the priest, is muted while housewives sing prophecies worthy of Isaiah. Wisemen play hide-and-seek with the king, while shepherds untangle heavenly riddles. Mary surrounded by shepherds and not midwives as appropriate.

All dislocated. But not misplaced. The Easter story dislocates things even greater.

A kiss means betrayal. The murderer is released. The Healer is ceased. Priests and scribes kill the One they’re waiting for. Fishermen are theologians. Soldiers are laughing. Peter is crying. The Author of life is killed.

Not “The End“. The curtains don’t drop. They tear in two. Our story has just begun.

The centurion is praising God. The One killed is eating broiled fish three days later. The mourners are rejoicing. Jesus is alive. Hoshiya na! “Salvation is here!”

All these historical facts are not misplaced, simply displaced with purpose by God.

Someone recently told me they had a painful wart on their foot, only to find the cancer on their face. From warts, to mice, to ER trips, or other inconveniences- God dislocates us from good to great.

Paul prays for those in Phillipi “… so that you may be able to discern what is best and may be pure and blameless for the day of Christ” Philippians 1:10 NIV

The word “best” ╬┤╬╣╬▒¤ć╬ş¤ü╬┐╬Ż¤ä╬▒ | diapheronta can be translated also as “excellent”, or “essential”.

 “so that you may approve what is excellentor “so that you may determine what is essential.

There’s danger in too much security as Tim Hansel mentions in Holy Sweat . “In our riches and our comfort is hard to seek God.” May we dare to pray like this man of faith did “Lord, secure me from securities.” This will help us determine what is excellent, and essential.

We don’t have to jump for joy at the next displacement. But as we don’t see the hand of God, may we trust the heart of God. He has not misplaced us geographically, relationally, career wise. He has displaced us with purpose so he could shift us from good to great; from common to excellent; from clutter to essential.

May we celebrate this Easter the Author of Life displacing Himself from heaven to a cross to benefit us. And as we feel displaced, may our mind stay still like Mary while in motion like Martha and sing with David..

“But I have calmed and quieted myself,
    I am like a weaned child with its mother;
    like a weaned child I am content.” Psalm 131:2
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