Thursday, September 2, 2010

Open to the Unexpected

Let me pose a simple question today. Are you open to the unexpected? I know that in most areas of my life I have become hardened, resigned to my apparent fate. I have consciously given up carrying around the load of heavy expectations, mostly because hope is a flame that is choked out as time marches forward and dreams remain unfulfilled. Prayer after prayer was uttered for a season, without being answered. Wishes were cast out into the aether, only to disappear into the infinity of space and time. It all became so futile, I came to believe that further prayer and petition was pointless. It only lead to tears and hurt. Only so many tears can be cried before you have to bury those hopes and dreams away. It becomes a simple matter of self-protection. A splinter of hurt, left in the skin for too long, will ultimately fester.

I think it is very easy to blame God and accuse him of neglecting us and forgetting about us. However, I recently stumbled upon a wonderful verse in scripture, Psalm 56:8, that assures me this just isn't true, You've kept track of my every toss and turn through the sleepless nights. Each tear entered in your ledger, each ache written in your book.

The Bible tells many stories of courageous and strong men and women who waited patiently for God to answer their prayers or to bring them deliverance. Sometimes a prayer is offered in one verse and seems to be answered just a few verses later. Poof. Abracadabra. Presto. However, this is most often misleading. God rarely offers drive-through service. If you carefully study the Bible you will see that many times years elapse before he works his plan through to completion. I would add that if these people who have been immortalized in the pages of scripture had closed themselves to hope, we might never have heard of their stories or their victories. We might not have been witness to a shining example of God's grace and glory.

I would say that if we do not remain open and receptive to the unexpected, whether it is that big job promotion, meeting the love of our lives, healing of that relationship, or whatever you hope for or once hoped for, then we may be shutting God out. This is a dangerous path to follow because we start to rely only on ourselves. Please, I implore you, be patient, trust his timing, and talk to him regularly.