She was a city girl all her life and a young professional climbing the corporate ladder. He grew up in the countryside and had been farming all his life and recently became an itinerant evangelist and preacher. They were complete polar opposites but Rose and Jack (not their real names) were a match made in heaven.
Finally! We were going to meet this dynamic couple together. We've met Rose a few times but It was tricky getting an appointment with Jack because he's out of town days at a time. Jack and Rose both do amazing work spreading the Gospel in this country where it is restricted. As we sat in their city apartment drinking tea, we listened to Jack's stories while on the road in the countryside.
Through the fowl
Jack had just finished a series of teaching sessions and was walking to the next village. It was a rigorous job of preaching from village to village with hardly any transportation except his two feet. People were also skeptical about the Gospel. It was something they have never heard of or understood well, and there were others teaching a pseudo Gospel who were causing trouble in the countryside. On top of that, the punishment for believing in Jesus Christ (or for preaching about Him) was severe. People could be jailed, publicly shamed, heavily fined, or lose jobs and property. Worse yet, all of that could be meted out to them. Despite the adversities, Jack faithfully preached the Gospel in the countryside and everywhere he went.
On the way, he encountered a farmer carrying a bunch of chickens. Jack saw this as an opportunity to share the Gospel, so he struck up a conversation and before long was speaking about receiving the saving grace of God by believing and putting one's trust in Jesus Christ. The farmer politely listened to Jack's explanation of how Jesus Christ came to save us from our sins and perform miracles like heal the sick.
"Well, you said that Jesus came to heal the sick. Can He heal my chickens?"
He was very poor and his livelihood depended solely on the chickens. For no apparent reason, the chickens suddenly became sick and were dying. The farmer was on his way to the market hoping to sell them. Jack declared, "Yes, He can! Would you like me to pray for them?" The farmer agreed so Jack prayed for God to heal the farmer's chickens. After they prayed, the man looked at his chickens and was astonished because his once sickly and and almost lifeless chickens were now very much alive and well! The man was so happy because his livelihood had been saved and began to profess belief in Jesus Christ. After praying together again this time giving thanks to God, they both went to the farmer's village.
The farmer could not stop telling his neighbors about what just happened to him. His neighbors knew about the dire situation he had, so they were astounded when all the chickens were healed because of a prayer to Jesus. Soon, everyone in the village started to profess their belief in Jesus. Jack stayed in the village for a few days because people wanted to know more about God. Before long nearby villages heard about the farmer's story and wanted to hear the Gospel too. Who would have thought that chickens could start a revival in the countryside! Jack continues to regularly visit the village to teach and train teachers who could carry on the work after he moves to another town.
His extraordinary ways
Sometimes we are in a situation where we do all we can and see very little outcome. We keep toiling away and wonder when the reward will come.There are also situations where everything is working against us and reaching our goal seems farther and farther away. The great thing about all that is our Father in heaven is watching over us. He knows exactly what we need, where we need it, and when we need it. Jack preached the Gospel despite the little results and dangers he faced because he knew that God was with him and will take care of everything. God used the lowly chicken to help Jack show people that He is real and that He cares about everything concerning them.
God's game plan is radical because it comes from a place of pure and everlasting love.
We will go through difficult circumstances because this is the process to build character in our lives. Most importantly, it is God's character that is being molded in us. We learn to rely on God for solutions to the toughest problems. When we wait calmly instead of complain or grumble, patience is developed until our faith levels up to complete trust in God. It is also in these moments that we experience God's love. He guides us in the right path. He provides in unexpected ways. He comforts us as we go through pain. Our fears disappear when He overwhelms us with His love. He keeps us safe. He holds us close to Him so we will not feel lonely. He raises us when we stumble. He forgives us when we slip up. When we have no fight left, He gives hope.
Unconventional ways, unconditional love only from the matchless God - the One working beautiful things in and through you.