Expecting the Unexpected

Isaiah 53:1 “Who has believed our message and to whom has the arm of the Lord been revealed?

There are two types of people in the world: those who love surprises and those who hate them. I definitely fall into the first category…especially around Christmas.

My husband likes to tell the story of the time he and my cousin, Terry, were working in our attic. I was running up the stairs when all of a sudden I froze. “Don’t look,” they warned, “your Christmas present is right here!” Immediately I closed my eyes and let them navigate my steps for the next few minutes until I retrieved whatever it was I needed in the attic. I wasn’t even tempted to peek. But as it turns out, my eyes could have been as wide as a deer’s in a headlight. They were just messin’ with me. There was no Christmas present. No imperiled surprise. Took a while to live that one down….but they were greatly amused.

I believe God loves to surprise us. To teach us how to expect the unexpected. From Jesus’ birth to his resurrection, few expected him to either come to the earth or leave it in the way he did. The Everlasting Father born to a young, poor virgin in a smelly barn? The good news of his birth announced first to shepherds instead of religious clerics? The Savior of the world “like one from whom people hide their faces” possessing no physical beauty or majesty to hint of his heritage?  (Isaiah 53:3). A crucified Creator who rose from the dead and infused breath into lifeless hope? Jesus did not meet anyone’s expectations.

Nope— he surpassed them.

He touched untouchables. He healed unhealables. He loved unlovables. He forgave unforgivables. Like you. Like me. Why then do we keep trying to hem him into all our preconceived notions? Are we afraid of being caught off guard? Do we feel safer relegating miracles to a distant past?

Oh that we would let God surprise us with the unexpected. That we would respond to Isaiah’s ancient question of “who has believed our message?” with a resounding We Do! It will take trust. Might have to walk through the attic blindfolded at times. But in this case something greater than a Christmas present awaits us.

So go ahead, start expecting the unexpected from our faithful loving God.

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