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Maybe “Crazy” Isn’t the Right Word

As foster parents (and people who seek to follow God’s lead in general), we’ve been thought of as crazy. It might not have been said in that succinct a fashion, but it was certainly in the subtext.

People would tell us, “I couldn’t do what you do, I’d love them too much and wouldn’t give them back.” Or on the other side, we would be advised, “You can’t get that involved. You have to remained detached. You’re getting too hurt loving them this much.”

In other words, “you’re crazy to go through this.”

Problem is, even in the darkest moments and hardest times, I would hear the still, small voice of the Holy Spirit saying, “You didn’t start this, I did and I will tell you when you’re done.”

That wasn’t a harsh statement in my spirit, but it was firm. I knew He set us on the course we were on and honestly, we haven’t gotten off of the roller coaster yet through foster care and adoption.

Contrary to what some believe, we actually do love these kids a whole lot–completely in fact. It’s hell to give them back when you don’t know how safe or cared for they will be, but it’s part of the process. We get to love them while they’re with us and make that imprint of God’s grace.

And as for remaining detached? That may help us in the short run, but that’s not why God called us to do this. It was love like He loves and feel what He feels (at least to the tiniest degree). It does hurt. There’s tremendous pain involved, but we follow Him.

I’m not saying any of this to build ourselves up. We make lots of mistakes and fall short so much, but I hope we all consider these words that Francis Chan wrote in the end of his book, Forgotten God.

…instead of thinking and telling people they are crazy when they feel like the Spirit is leading them into something that doesn’t necessarily make sense to us, we should join them in the discernment process. Instead of discouraging people, we should pray for more insight and boldness. Instead of deadening people to the Spirit’s leading with our words and our actions, we should celebrate and join the Spirit’s movement in and through them!

Instead of thinking you know best how God speaks and moves in others, join them in real prayer and seeking. Maybe it’s not crazy, maybe it’s God’s plan and way to demonstrate His kingdom and love through these individuals.

And when you feel a leading that seems impossible, seems like you can’t handle it–maybe you’re not so crazy, maybe you just need a little wisdom and boldness to get started.

I know from experience that the more you resist the Holy Spirit, the less you feel His direction in the next things and seasons. It’s as if you build an immunity through the unbelief. Don’t encourage unbelief in others and don’t cultivate it in yourself.

This is the only life you get.

You can follow the Spirit and make an eternal impact or you can play it safe and have a nice life. I’m more convinced than ever that you can’t do both. I’m not saying everyone has to be a missionary in Africa or adopt a child, but you probably need to be open to some Holy Spirit-induced crazy.

Guaranteed you or someone you know will try to convince you of such, but keep seeking in honesty and allow Him to unfold an awesome plan.

Has God led you to something others (or you) thought was crazy? Do you feel you’re open to such things? Why or why not?

Welcome to the afterword of our book club discussion of Forgotten God (disclosure) by Francis Chan. We are taking a sentence, paragraph, or passage that inspires, encourages, or challenges and writing about it. We’re covering a chapter a week. If you have a response on your blog, add the link to the widget below. Either way, head over to my friend and co-facilitator, Sarah Salter’s blog for her thoughts.

Whether you’ve read the material or not, please dive into the conversation!

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  1. I’ll take “crazy” people like you two any day Jason. As I have gotten more involved in this community where I live there is a greater and greater need for foster homes. I know you don’t want to hear this but I admire what you two have done…taking in kids whom you may have to give back. What an example of God’s heart in action.
    Bill (cycelguy) recently posted..JoyMy Profile

    • No, I very much appreciate hearing it, Bill. 🙂 It’s not why we do it, of course, but it’s an honor to carry a piece of His heart for the broken and needy. Amazing what these kids have to endure and fight through to survive, but in the midst, God can provide a hope and glimpse of something very different. It’s humbling to be even a small part of that. Thanks Bill.

  2. Maybe my life needs some Holy Spirit crazy these days. The opposite seems to be the rule of the day… too much resisting the Holy Spirit. When that happens, whether by myself or by those in my life, I see more limits and sadness and justification. Yeah, a little (or a lot) of Holy Spirit crazy may be just what we need around here.
    Kari Scare recently posted..Aging GracefullyMy Profile

    • I’m doing my best to embrace the “crazy,” Kari. 🙂 It can be so difficult and challenging, but like you said, the alternative is no good. We are His sheep and we hear His voice. We were made to follow, and that is our joy. Thank you, Kari.

  3. Great post, Jason. I’m guilty of trying to use my fleshly wisdom to run my life without consulting the One who owns me first. I also agree that when we do that He pulls His hand of protection for the moment in order for us to realize our mistake… and it never takes too long, brother. Thanks for the reminder, Jason.

    • We’re all guilty, Floyd. I’m sure for every one time I follow through, there are 10 I resisted. I just don’t want to live that way. I’m so thankful He is patient and will grab our attention and focus and bring it squarely back to Him and where He’s leading. Thanks so much, Floyd.

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