July 16, 2012

The Element of Surprise

I’ve had a relationship with Christ for 21 years—almost my entire life—but you know what?

Sometimes, God still pulls a sneak attacks on me.

And by “attack,” I don’t mean something gruesome or even unnerving. He just has such a way of surprising me.

When I shouldn’t in be surprised in the least.

It’s funny—I go about my day as if I’m the center of the universe. I worry, worry, worry about me, me, me. About the things that affect MY life. That will uproot and inconvenience me. I’m not entirely selfish, but I do have lots of moments where I’m consumed with thoughts about and prayers for myself.

But despite this unassuming behavior, I often think that God couldn’t possibly be interested in what’s going on with me. Why should He care about the details of my largely blessed life when there are people across the world—heck, across the city—who are suffering?

I start thinking that maybe I don’t matter to Him after all. Even though He blatantly tells me in His Word that He takes care of the sparrows, so surely He’ll take care of me.

And obviously He cares for me, because Jesus died for me.

But sometimes, that doesn’t feel “personal” enough. Completely and totally blasphemous, right? But He died for everyone, not just me. So I start thinking it was a general act of love, not geared specifically at me, but in general to all mankind.

And here’s where the sneak attack comes in.

Because God, in His infinite kindness, decides to show me that He specifically loves me. That He cares about the details of MY life.

It usually appears as someone reaching out at the moment I’m drowning, or a message that’s repeated over and over again (you know, like when you hear similar themes in a sermon, a blog post, and a conversation or book all within a few days of each other).

It’s in these moments that I stop, pick my jaw up off the floor, and fall to my knees.

Because He does care. About me. Specifically. Not because I’m amazing, but because He is.

He does want good things. For my life. Specifically. Because He wants me to live my life to glorify Him.

And even if I had been the only person on this planet, He would have died.

For me.

Specifically.

Know what?

He also died for you. Specifically for you.

And that truth is the best surprise I’ve ever received.

Your Turn: When has God surprised you?

*Photo by Suat Eman

22 comments:

  1. Oh goodness, I've had some surprises lately... :)

    One of the bigger life surprises was my move to Des Moines. Within a matter of two weeks, I prayed about whether I was supposed to look for a new job, applied, interviewed and moved. It was crazy...but it seems like when things happen that fast in my life, I know it's God.

    And friendships. He's surprises me with amazing friendships--like yours!

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    1. Our friendship certainly was a surprise...one of the best ever!! :P

      And that's crazy but awesome that your move happened so quickly.

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  2. Without even praying about it, a few weeks ago, I was bombarded with people/sermons/blog posts/comments about me having the skill and gift of writing. And to keep writing and to pursue publication.
    It was one of those "See? What did I tell you?" things that God delivered right to my doorstep.

    Oh yeah, and for a research trip to be possible? Bahahaha! He is SO good.

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    1. That's so cool, Jennifer! I love when he affirms us like that, especially when we're prone to doubt.

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  3. God is surprising me with a buyer for our Alabama house so we can move home to Colorado! As soon as it happens I know I'm going to be surprised and smile.

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    1. That's so awesome, Connie. I love when He gives us the desires of our hearts. Welcome here!

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  4. God totally surprised me by giving me two sons. There aren't a lot of boys in my family and I just assumed I'd have girls. But wow, He sure surprised and blessed me with my two little guys. :)

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    1. Isn't it fun when God does the opposite of what we expect, but totally gives us just what we need to enjoy it and make it through?

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  5. God has surprised me with his lavish grace after I stumbled out of a time of distancing myself from him. There was no "Well, now I'm gonna let you deal with what you did & heap penance and guilt on you" from God. It was such an overwhelming feeling of His grace and love and the sense of "I've been here the whole time, Beth. I love you."

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    1. Mmm, His grace certainly IS lavish. I love how you describe that. He was there all along. We're the ones who walk away.

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  6. LOVED this, Lindsay. You are so right- and I've been caught in that sudden-surrounding of similar themes every-which-way-I-turn so many times. He is SO good. I wrote about a moment of His surprising, humbling grace here: http://simplerevelationsbyamanda.blogspot.com/2012/04/humbled.html

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    1. Ooo, I love your post! Why DON'T we expect such wonderful orchestrations from God? We should. But we don't. Thanks for the link.

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  7. Ah yes! I love those surprises for me! It makes me feel exactly like I should feel. Special. Cared for. Wanted. Adored. Treasured.

    Love!

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    1. So often we think we should feel unworthy, don't we? But God surprises us with His love. Sigh. Definitely swoon-worthy, that.

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  8. I love surprises! But surprises from God normally cause me to rethink a chosen path. Or consider a different possibility. Or worship when I've been complaining. Knowing that God only has my best interest at heart makes the surprise priceless. And when the surprise is joyful, well...cover your ears!

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    1. I like that idea of considering a different possibility because of something He reveals to us... Thank you for sharing it!

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  9. I love when God gives me a message and then confirms it through things I read, people I talk to, sermons I listen to. I'm always and forever amazed that His thoughts for me outnumber the sands on the shores.

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    1. Yep, He's been teaching me something through this very method lately.

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  10. Beautiful post, Lindsay!

    Sometimes he surprises me with a gentle word from a total stranger, or a child...but I know it's Him talking.

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    1. We just have to be open to listening, don't we? And THAT is the hard part.

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  11. God surprises me all the time, which just goes to show I'm not used to His tactics :). If I were expecting His greatness all the time, which I should be because it's always there, I don't know if it would be such a shock when He reveals how much He totally and utterly cares for me. I might still be surprised even with this revelation, but I don't mind because it makes me feel special.

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    1. Isn't it so cool how God can make us feel special, even with so many people here on this earth? I love that He knows our needs...and provides for them.

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