How God Surprised Me
I bet there is something you have prayed about and desired for a very long time, maybe even years. You have wanted it for so long you have doubted God will ever answer. Maybe in your quiet—and honest—moments you have felt overlooked by Christ. And, perhaps you have even given up hope He will ever grant your desire.
I can relate. But, this weekend, God fulfilled a dream I have prayed about for more than two decades. I am still amazed that He chose to answer in an unexpected way—and definitely much later than was comfortable. But I am not disappointed. In fact, I am grateful, filled with joy, and in awe because I am seeing Christ in a new way.
The Surprise of Redemption
Through God’s delayed answer–and His creative way of fulfilling my desire–I have received a fresh glimpse of His glory and power demonstrated through His redemption. I am convinced more than ever that He loves to take what is horrible, tangled up in sin, and what seems to be permanently broken, and redeem it so He is glorified—and as a result, we are delighted.
In the surprise of His unexpected redemption, we see His magnificence, His glory, His love and His power in ways we wouldn’t if life fit the fairy tale we have designed for ourselves.
Through His redemption, He breathes light, and life into broken people, and situations, and lives. But why should it surprise us when we witness redemption in what’s messy? After all, as my good friend says, “It’s how God rolls.”
Redemption is what we see in the cross. It defines the stories of Joseph, and Ruth with Naomi and Boaz. It’s part of the stories of the Israelites, and David, and Paul. In fact, the entire Bible is a story of redemption, of God taking broken pieces and broken people and making something beautiful out of what seems unsalvageable.
Through God’s delay and unexpected way of answering my prayer, He has helped me see in a greater way that He is good–even when our biggest dreams do not come true how we want. And, He has taught me that the most amazing blessing is not in receiving the perfect life of our imaginations. It is not getting everything we think will make us happy. Instead, it is knowing Him, and experiencing His love. This trumps every trouble.
I am so very glad my story did not turn out how I had designed it in my mind. It is better than I anticipated because I am seeing Him in a new way—and I am seeing my heart enlarge and stretch and turn into more of a picture of Him. I am learning to love more deeply and less selfishly, not in spite of things not turning out how I wanted, but because things didn’t turn out how I wanted. And in this, there is overwhelming joy.
Praise you, Lord.
Question: Has God surprised you in a way you never imagined? How has He revealed His redemption to you?