I was sitting next to our daughter in her Sunday School class yesterday and I heard author Phillip Yancy say something on the video tape we were viewing that made me say “YES!”
Isn’t that exciting? Here I am, almost 61 years old (next month) 54 of those years as a Christian, and I am still learning from the treasure of God’s wisdom. That is one reason I still attend Church (Phil would be quick to remind us that the Church is the people – not the building). I fellowship with other Christians, attend Sunday School, and a Home Group all because I have learned “lo these many years” that God speaks to me through my fellow Christians.
Back to the “Yes!”…. Phillip Yancy was talking about the various ways God answers prayer. Now, “lo these many years” I have heard much about prayer. Many of you have as well. God’s ways are not our ways, His time table is not our time table, and most importantly, He is God.
What blessed me was a question Yancy asked, “Have you ever been surprised by an answer to prayer because it was answered in a way you never would have imagined, much less requested?”
In reflecting on my response, I realized that the surprise factor is part of what makes walking with God a meaningful journey. If I knew what was ahead, there would certainly be more potential for me to mess things up. I would try to avoid the very circumstances that have brought me some of my greatest joy. I would never have chosen to have four children in three and one half years. But, I shudder to think of what I would have missed!!!!
Our children have brought us much joy (and challenge) through every phase of their lives. Believe me, I clearly remember waking up and changing diapers on three little bottoms, feeding three breakfasts and breastfeeding the fourth, dressing or assisting in dressing all four. Then I would look at the clock to see how long it was until nap time. Not because I wanted my four little ones to nap – but because I wanted to nap! God was faithful through every phase of our children’s lives and continues to be. Yes! God has surprised me!
My relationship with God is vital and challenging because even as I face difficulties, I know God will be faithful to work on my behalf, even if I don’t know how He will accomplish His purpose.
Isaiah 55:8-1 (NIV)
8 “For my thoughts are not your thoughts,
neither are your ways my ways,”
declares the Lord.
9 “As the heavens are higher than the earth,
so are my ways higher than your ways
and my thoughts than your thoughts.
10 As the rain and the snow
come down from heaven,
and do not return to it
without watering the earth
and making it bud and flourish,
so that it yields seed for the sower and bread for the eater,
11 so is my word that goes out from my mouth:
It will not return to me empty,
but will accomplish what I desire
and achieve the purpose for which I sent it.
God is faithful – I want to continue to be surprised by Him.