Ironies In Christian Life

Some people are Larks. Others are Owls. Larks are early risers; Owls are late sleepers. Owls become energetic after the sun sets. They work and play late into the night and get up late.

I am an Owl. So it’s sort of a miracle that I’ve been able to get up early in the morning for daily prayer over the last ten years. It’s not because I go to bed early like many Larks do. My schedule is packed with evening activities. I lead the New Life Bible class on Tuesdays, have evening prayer meetings on Wednesdays, make house church visits on Fridays, and preach at the third worship service on Sundays. I usually have meetings on Monday evenings as well.

So I always feel tired and sleep deprived. I frequently get cold sores on my tongue. But strangely, I rarely get sick. Before I started to keep regular morning prayer times, I slept more but was not that healthy. I got sick at least a couple of times a year. I also got occasional stomachaches. But these days, I rarely get sick.

I think that this is a Christian irony.

The Christian life is replete with ironies. When you start tithing, even though your net income should be less, you experience more financial abundance. Even though our ministries prevent us from spending as much time with our children as others might, our children somehow turn out better than those who received lavish attention from their parents.

If we want to enjoy Christian living we must understand such ironies. The Bible is full of these. “Whoever wants to be first must be slave of all.” (Mark 10:44) “For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted.” (Luke 14:11) “But many who are first will be last, and many who are last will be first.” (Matthew 19:30) “[God’s] power is made perfect in weakness.” (2 Corinthians 12:9)

Such ironies are possible because our Father is the all powerful and all knowing God. He let things happen that cannot happen naturally and accomplishes things that cannot be done by human effort. Experiencing God’s ironies is a fun part of being a Christian. People who always depend on common sense and attempt only those things that are humanly possible will never experience this fun.

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