It seems like we live in an upside-down world. A world where sometimes wrong is seen as right and right as wrong. As humans, upside-down isn’t always pleasant, as most of us prefer the space around us and beyond as stable and full of understanding. The world is anything but this and if we study history, outside of Eden, it never has been. How we deal with the upside-down world though can be conquered when we study God’s upside-down plan. It is in the acceptance of His plan that we realize our upside-down world isn’t so upside-down. Furthermore, it is in this place that not only can we come together to change the world but do it with the grace of peace.
Sometimes things just don’t make sense. Perhaps you are like me? I am a person who likes an ordered world. Most people who know me are fully aware that I am a detail person. Sometimes, a bit obsessively if I must admit to such but the bottom line is, I don’t really like things to be turned on end. So, when problems arise, I must stop and regroup to convince myself to make lemonade out of lemons. Unfortunately, I am more likely to subscribe to the mantra like the title of Erma Bombeck’s book, “If Life is a Bowl of Cherries, What Am I doing in the Pits?” When things go awry at minimum, I have a burning need to understand why before I can successfully move forward.
Lemonade, Pits, and How Heaven Fits In
Over the years, I have learned that sometimes though lemonade must be made and that in life there are both cherries and pits and you can’t have one without the other. But I still push to understand things and reach plausible explanations for things that I find upside-down. Eventually, though I know that what appears upside-down will turn around in God’s perfect plan and it is there that perfect peace will descend. But what about now? Can peace exist here on earth with God’s upside-down plan and this upside-down world?
A pastor met up with two little boys one sunny afternoon. After greeting them, he asked, “Boys, would you like to go to heaven?” “Yes, sir!” one responded immediately. “No, sir,” the other boy answered honestly. Surprised by the second boy’s response, the preacher asked, “Son do you mean that eventually, you don’t want to go to heaven?” “I’d like to go eventually,” replied the boy, “but I thought you were getting up a load to go today.” For much of the world, peace and happiness are like heaven, as they hope both will eventually come but it always seems just out of reach in the upside-down world.
But God refines peace and happiness in His upside-down plan. For true happiness is the joy held through allegiance to God’s Son, Christ Jesus. It is a present reality. “Happy are those who know they are spiritually poor, who mourn, who are humble. Each of the Beatitudes is in the present tense. They point out to the believer that they already have because they are currently experiencing life as a disciple of Jesus Christ.
Seeking to Understand the Upside-down Plan
It seems upside-down to think that peace and joy can come from being poor, mourning, or humility. Yet, if we understand that the point isn’t to seek to be poor, mourn, or submit lowly but instead that by viewing our place in the world from these points, we see the greatness of God. It is from this knowledge that we can experience joy and peace. Furthermore, when a multitude of believers seeks to understand God’s upside-down plan, not only will peace come from it but together the world can change as we show others God’s perfect plan.
The Apostle Paul reminds us that God doesn’t look for the qualities that our culture values most in the world. God chooses those whom the world most often will not choose to do His work. Deeper understanding begins by recognizing that God is our source and reason for our personal relationship with Christ. It is important that we clearly see that as individuals we are small, but together we are big, When we view our world from God’s upside-down plan we can understand that a “small me” makes a “big we” and when we are big together, the world changes for the good.
It is through our union and identification with Christ that we hold the wisdom of God and are acceptable to Him. Because of Christ, we hold the ability to be pure and have our sins forgiven because they are paid for by Jesus. God doesn’t choose as the world does, His plan may appear upside-down and a bit unorthodox but make no mistake, just because we don’t understand it doesn’t make it less than perfect.
Remembering How “Small Me’s” Make “Big We’s”
It is important that we should always keep God’s upside-down plan close to our heart knowing our place with God and recognizing there is nothing we can do to earn our salvation, only accept what Christ has already done for us. Here we are small, yet we are big and it is in this place that not only can peace and joy be experienced but the world can become a better place as we accept and embrace the upside-down plan of God.
God has united you with Christ Jesus. For our benefit, God made Him to be wisdom itself. Christ made us right with God; He made us pure and holy, and He freed us from sin.1 Corinthians 1:30 (NLT)
God’s upside-down plan to us is not an upside-down plan to Him. It is from seeing the world from God’s perspective that believers can see ultimate power; the power of sacrifice and vulnerability and know fully that this plan is not an accident. God’s plan is not a reroute to “Plan B,” but it is the original thought out plan from the beginning. We can only win at life through our surrender of ourselves to Him. When we fully understand this, we can see that God’s plan isn’t so upside-down.
Maybe Not so Upside-Down After All
Jesus teaches us that we can only truly conquer our enemies by loving them and thus transforming the world through our humility. This is the “small me.” But when a bunch of “small me’s” bond together collectively a “big we” forms, as we lead by serving all. When we chose to live God’s plan, we realize that it isn’t because we are smarter, stronger, or more important, but simply because we chose to believe. Our source of strength that leads to peace, joy, and eternal life comes only from the grace of Christ Jesus.
It is through the belief that the source of our life is through Christ that we can reformat what is wise and what makes for a good and full life. We are chosen, chosen by God who turns wisdom on its head from what we see as His upside-down plan.
Won’t you challenge yourself to experience the true power of sacrifice and vulnerability to see how a “small me” shows the world your humility to God as you serve others strengthening the family of God? Find your conviction in the understanding that intelligence, power, and money are irrelevant factors in being part of the people of God and in turn they often stand in the way of being dependent upon God’s grace. Step out boldly in motivation knowing that God’s ways are not the world’s and often appear upside-down to it as God chooses the meek and humble to become the greatest to show His glory and transformative power. Lastly, surround yourself in the comfort of knowing that you, as part of the baptized believers, are one of God’s chosen and that together with other believers using God’s upside-down plan, the world can change.
Love in Christ,
Do you wish to be great? Then begin by being. Do you desire to construct a vast and lofty fabric? Think first about the foundations of humility. The higher your structure is to be, the deeper must be its foundation.Saint Augustine
What are Your Thoughts?
Do you long to understand the upside-down world? Have you considered that to change the world you should view the power of how “small me’s” make “big we’s?” Share your thoughts on the importance of understanding your place in God’s upside-down plan.