Has it ever occurred to you that we are so rarely these days surprised by the unexpected?

Everything is usually so well planned in our busy lives.  There is little time for making space for the unexpected.  It often follows that the only unexpected things are health issues which rise up and force themselves into our daily lives and night time worries.

I would suggest that for all of us, there is the potential to be surprised by good unexpected things.

They don’t have to be life changing, major events like surprise parties, nice though they are.  The unexpected can be in seeing a new bird in the garden, discovering a piece of music on the radio, learning a new word, catching sight of something you’ve never seen before.  If we are open, we can be surprised at just how many unexpected things there are out there waiting for us to be surprised by.

How many have already passed you by this week or today?

I think that it’s so easy for us to shut out the unexpected and only listen, see or feel what we are used to.  It’s a question of busyness and control.

When the Jews first encountered Jesus they had every reason to be utterly and joyfully surprised by the unexpected.  Instead, his words, actions and miracles were only allowed to be negative.  That initial reaction became the base on which they built their case for preventing Him being a surprise to anyone else.  It was really sad.

I suppose it would be reasonable to say that to have become a Christian is to have been surprised at the unexpected, sometimes in an instant, often over a period, but nevertheless, surprised at the wonderful truth of Gods love, ready to forgive through the death of Jesus.  No one could expect that, but God surprises us with giving it as a gift.  There’s a sense in which it never ceases to surprise us.

Serving God is saying yes to being surprised by the unexpected because he can, if we are willing, take us into new experiences, new relationships, new ministries, discovering new gifts.  It’s an exciting prospect and can be full of surprises.

With God, the unexpected need never be negative.