When Jesus came to earth, he did not come remarkably with loud procession and exclamation, he came quietly, born of a not particularly special woman, in a smelly stable, in a crowded town. When he grew up he did not overthrow the invading Roman empire and give the Jews back their homeland, he preached of loving ones enemies and dying to oneself to live again. When he was about 33 years old he died a sinners death, alone, on a cross, while even his closest of friends betrayed him.
All expectations the people of the time had for their promised and coming Savior were broken the moment God chose an ordinary man and women to do the extraordinary. Jesus broke bread with sinners, he performed miracles on the Sabbath day, he associated with the unclean, and in doing so made enemies of the very people who should have recognized who he was, the Pharisees.
The Pharisees were masters of the Old Testament law, the Mosaic law, and were charged with teaching the people and with aiding people in the atoning of their sins, but they could not even recognize the multitude of prophecies that Jesus fulfilled upon his life, death and resurrection. The Jewish people were expecting someone who would defeat the Romans for them, but instead he died at the hands of the Romans.
My point in all of this is that God works in unexpected ways. Even in the Old Testament times God acted in unexpected ways as well, choosing a Hebrew raised in the household of the Pharaoh of Egypt to free the Hebrews from their bondage, among other examples. If God has continually worked in unexpected ways to reveal His majesty, His justice, and His grace, why should I expect Him to act any differently in my life? God’s word says that He is able to immeasurably more than anything we can imagine, but do we really expect Him to do big things in our lives, or is that just the God in the Bible who is able to do these things? Well I’ve got BIG news for you people, the God of the Bible is still God today, and He WANTS to and is GOING to do big things in YOUR life.
I’m saying these things because I feel like I always try to limit God to only doing things that I want, in the way I want it, and when I want it. In other words I want God to work the way I expect. But obviously that is not how God works. God is not limited by the plans that I can fathom and the ideas that I create, in fact, I often think that he rejoices in taking my plans and blowing them out of the water, and that’s a GOOD thing! He rejoices in doing this because he says my beloved daughter, you may think this is good and will bring happiness, but I have something BETTER for you in mind.
The past three weeks have put me at the end of my rope. I felt hopeless and defeated by this world. I had no desire to read the hope of God’s word and no desire to try and be encouraged through others, I just wanted to live in my own perpetual pity party. But thankfully that was not God’s plan for me. You see, I was so discouraged because God was not giving me what I wanted and not acting the way that I expected. I met with a good friend last week who was also struggling with some issues and we whined together, but then she convinced us to turn to God’s word to find hope, and by the end of our time together, I felt a little more encouraged. Encouraged enough for us to pray together. I’ve been thinking about the whole Unexpected Savior topic for a while so I decided to pray for God to work in both of lives in an unexpected way.
This past weekend God showed up in unexpected ways in both of our lives to the extent that it was impossible for me not to fall on my knees and give HIM all the glory. There is no way that what has happened in my life recently was of my own doing and I think that’s why God chooses to work in unexpected ways. God wants AND DESERVES ALL the glory in my life, yet it is so easy to brush him off and push him aside for later when he works in the expected ways; the ways I want and when I want it.
So at the end of this all I want to ask each one of you who reads this one simple question. Are you expected God to work in unexpected ways in your life, or are you falling into the trap of placing Gods work under human standards? God seeks to show you His power and His love, just not always in the way that you expect it!
If we all prayed for God to work in unexpected ways in this world and actually believed that God would follow through on our prayers, imagine what would be possible!
Also, this song came to my mind while writing this post, so take a listen, it’s a favorite of mine! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Uyv1jUDLY3s