Christians are startled when the Lord works in a way which is opposite to what they expect. We get into a rut, and often we follow a ritual of expectancy which allows for no change; then suddenly we wake up and find His word being fulfilled, “For My thoughts are not your thoughts, nor are your ways My ways, says the LORD” (Isaiah 55:8).

Did you know that our God is the God of the paradox? In the days of the Lord people were amazed when a man was healed and his sins were forgiven. “We have seen strange things today!”, they said (Luke 5:26). We get our word paradox from this word “strange”. The Lord did something contrary to human expectation;something extraordinary; and people were gripped by amazement.

Some years ago a single verse of poetry was found written on the wall of a room in a mental hospital. It was not written by the author, for the words were first penned more than three centuries before. And today this verse forms part of a beautiful hymn which Christians delight to sing.

“Could we with ink the ocean fill.
And were the skies of parchment made;
Were every stalk on earth a quill,
And every man a scribe by trade;

To write the love of God above
Would drain the ocean dry;
Nor could the scroll contain the whole.
Though stretched from sky to sky.”

These words were said to have been composed by a Jewish rabbi, and God has allowed them to be preserved to console redeemed hearts, and to bring sinners to Christ. They were quoted one night by a preacher, and a derelict who heard them phoned to ask if it could possibly be true that God would love a wicked sinner like himself. The message of love was preached over the phone, and the listening sinner was saved. Strange? Yes. Paradoxical? Only to us, for “God moves in a mysterious way His wonders to perform”.