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What to Expect from the Unexpected

This has been a week of twists and turns. What I set out to do each day rarely matched the God-given agenda I actually experienced and I’m loving it. It has taken me 50 years to accept the unexpected as an opportunity to remember how much I need God!

The unexpected makes me uncomfortable, sometimes hungry, most of the time spending more money than I had planned, always mysterious and often unexplained in the end. I’ve learned to accept the value of the experience for what it is. It is a privilege to go somewhere, meet someone or add some skill I never knew about before.

Perhaps it was the overwhelming experience of losing my husband suddenly that puts all the other unexpected experiences in context for me. All I know is that something has changed in the center of my soul as I have relaxed, rather than react when everything goes haywire, especially the big things.

I just wish I could be that way when people stay in the left lane while driving on the interstate and don’t move over as the signs clearly state (Texans are the worst!). I would invite the Holy Spirit to bring relaxation rather than ranting to that experience for me—I’m not there yet.

You have to be ready for the unexpected to get the most benefit. For instance when the guy brought me out my taco and asked me about whether I thought he should follow his dreams, I was expecting him to try to sell me something. I left realizing that, although I encouraged him to follow his dreams, I didn’t see the unexpected question as an opportunity to share about how my faith and dreams interweave. It was the perfect set up, and I missed it because I was expecting something else.

God is the God of the unexpected. For instance, He told Abraham when he was 75 and his wife 65 that they would become parents. If I were Abraham, I would be expecting to have a child by 76; but what we know God meant by that was that he would have a child at 100 by a 90 year old wife. Now that was totally unexpected.

The best way to live this life is to think about what you might do with each hour of your day and then leave room for the way God shows you to do it. Sometimes I just do the next thing in front of me and pray that I won’t miss what God is calling me to do. Isaiah 55:9 says:

As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.

God doesn’t choose the way we choose to accomplish His work. He knows us. He knows we will get lost along the way and fulfill our sinful tendency to glorify ourselves. He shows us how to do it in a way that only He receives the glory. It’s taken many lessons to teach me that following His way is always hard, sacrificial, brings out more of His goodness in me than I ever thought could be in me, and is so fun!

I love the unexpected. I want to live my life open to the unexpected challenges I will face today and have a private loving connection to God while I’m figuring out what to do next.



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