The longer I live, the more and more I realize how much I hate surprises. Parties (I’d rather choose the guest list), gifts (I’d rather pick the present), news (I like to prepare myself), whatever it is, I always like to know what’s coming! I know how that sounds, and no, I promise, I’m not a total party killjoy. But, honestly, who likes surprises…I mean really likes them…
By our very nature, most of us like to plan, prepare, get our thoughts together, and build (at least mental) action steps BEFORE something, anything happens to us. Why? Because it makes us all a little uncomfortable when we get caught off guard. For whatever reason.
But here’s the irony of following Christ, God almost always operates in our lives via the element of surprise.
One of my friends used to say that God doesn’t direct our lives like mapquest. He doesn’t lay out all of the turns and directions ahead of time. Rather, he operates much more like GPS. He tells you turn by turn, and usually tells you right before it’s time. SURPRISE!
But the real question is why? If God knows that it naturally makes us uncomfortable to be surprised with life-bombs if you will, why does he continually drop them?
I think more than anything else, it’s because it forces us to trust him. When we have time to plan and prepare, that’s exactly what we do…plan, and prepare. In our own strength, and with our own resources, we figure out how to deal with what’s coming.
But God knows as long as He continually surprises us by the events in our lives, we will have no other option but to lean on the truth of His word, trust in the wisdom of His Spirit, and rest in the peace of His presence.
When you face an unanticipated surprise, don’t panic and freak out. No matter how hard it may be, take a second, pause, and thank God for giving you another opportunity to trust Him. You may not like surprises any more than I do, but one thing’s for sure, we take one step closer in our relationship with God every time we face them.
So next time God surprises you, don’t be surprised…it’s how He rolls!