I've found that in God's Kingdom things get whacky really fast. His "economy" looks nothing like ours, He doesn't play by our laws, there are no man made presumptions to contend with.
I've come to realize that God actually turns things upside down like this so that, when one looks back at the circumstances, they are so clearly out of one's control that it had to be God. I find myself thinking, and increasingly saying, just that. God get's the credit--there's no way I could have done this.
If you watched my recent Stanford talk, you heard about how when I was in need of money to "make ends meet" I got a call about a consulting job that more than made up for the 1/3 pay cut I had suddenly experienced. Clearly it would seem that I was the one who was blessed by that.
Yes, I certainly was, but it turns out that the guy who gave me the job was probably equally blessed. First, as it all played out, he realized so clearly that God spoke to him in prayer--this alone is a wonderful sensation. Once you tune your ear to discern what is your own thoughts, and what are the thoughts God put there, its powerful.
Then, he stepped out in faith to hire me and then pay me out of his own pocket. A financial loss, but he quickly saw God used it for a bigger purpose. I remember sitting with him and his wife over dinner while on the job and I detailed how I had met with a CEO who had offered me a job on the spot. They looked at each other, then at me, and said, "that's why we were to bring you here."
When these kinds of things play out, no matter how seasoned a believer in God you may be, I think you are always elated and even a bit mystified at the realities of a practical living God who's working things out on Earth. It still blows me away when this stuff happens, but the more I see it and believe it the more it happens and I feel like I'm essentially living in a world with another dimension.
When I spoke at Stanford, Mike, the guy that hired me, brought his wife and son along to hear the talk. We've rehashed it numerous times to really praise God about it. And, I just discovered, it all struck him so much that he decided to write about it on his popular blog, Biblical Viewpoint. Here's an except from his post titled, "Are You the Real Deal?"
In the article, he talks about living a stereotypical Christian faith vs. one that he calls "all in." This is humbling to me that he considers me to be this kind of Christian, I know I fail often, and yet God keeps saying to me, "Ryan, I need laborers, people to be my hands and feet, brush yourself off and follow me." And for that, yes, I am all in.