The God of Surprises

“…Nathanael replied, ‘Can anything good come from Nazareth?’…” (John 1:46)

     A swelling crowd joyfully met the bridal car, an elegant limousine, as it careened its way to the front of the church. The guests were ready. The photographers were positioned. The wedding organizers were expectant. The car door flung open. With bated breath, everyone awaited the emergence of the beautiful bride. And then what they saw thereafter was one worthy of TV’s Funniest Videos… the groom stepped out of the bridal car!

This is a true story. A real event. An actual occurence. I know. This was my wedding. And I was of course the groom who emerged from the bridal car.

I will reserve the explanation in another blog entry. But suffice it to say that because of a series of unexpected events, I ended up arriving on my wedding day in the car reserved for my bride.

Surprises! Surprises!

Sometimes, our expectations do not meet reality. What we anticipate does not materialize. What we hope for is not realized.

We can laugh about a funny incident like what happened during my wedding day. But when it happens in other aspects of our lives, laughter is the last thing we would want to do.

Talk about a good couple whose crib has been empty for a number of years now.

Or a court case filed against you by the company you’ve dedicated your life to just a year before retirement.

Or losing your husband to a heart attack at the peak of his youth.

Or getting unexpectedly retrenched.

Or getting the news that it’s malignant.

Surprises! Surprises!

And because of this, people begin questioning God’s goodness. You see, sometimes when God acts differently from what we expect from Him, we lose faith. But the problem isn’t really with God. Neither is it with us. The problem is really with “expectation” itself. 

In today’s gospel, Nathanael shows the folly of “expectations”. In trying to box God’s ways with his expectations of where the messiah should come from, Nathanael nearly missed encountering the Messiah Himself.

“…Nathanael replied, ‘Can anything good come from Nazareth?’…” (John 1:46)

His expectations shaped for Nathanael the kind of messiah he wants. Probably not from little known Nazareth. Nope. The messiah should come from Jerusalem. Or even Bethlehem, perhaps. But not Nazareth. Too un-Kingly. Too un-characteristically simple for an awesome God.

But that’s where he was wrong. That’s where we are wrong most of the time. When we try to box God into our own expectations of how he should act, we miss out on the blessing.

Today, I invite you. Trust in God even if He seems to act differently from what you expect of Him. When He didn’t answer that prayer. When He has yet to give you that child. When he has yet to bring you that healing. When He allowed your business to close down.

Still trust. Don’t waiver. Hold on.

Our God is a God of the unexpected. He is typically untypical. He is predictably unpredictable. And before you know it, you will realize that He actually answered your prayers but in a way different yet far better than what you expected.

So get down on your knees and say a prayer of trust today. And be ready to expect the unexpected from no one less than the God of surprises Himself!



2 thoughts on “The God of Surprises

  1. There was this priest who told us of a powerful prayer. A prayer that is not for the meek, a prayer which goes like this, ”Surprise me, Lord!”

    God is really a God of surprises. And whatever surprise that we receive from Him, I am sure that He knows that we are capable of handling it. All we need to do is trust in Him.

    Thank you bro for this powerful message. God bless you!

  2. Yes, He is a God of surprises and His ways are far above our ways and His thoughts far above ours! That’s why we always have to “Come and see!”, and invite others to “Come and see!” as well. He has so much more in store for us than we can ever dream or imagine!

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