Perhaps our day was filled with interruptions. A co-worker says, “expect the unexpected.” Or the relaxing weekend we had planned gets sidetracked by the demands of house or yard maintenance. Expect the unexpected. A friend recently had two serious accidents in the span of six months. Expect the unexpected. In each instance, the “unexpected” might be seen as an undesirable, even devastating, turn of events. But viewed differently, through the perspective of God’s goodness and grace, even these unexpected things might be occasions for gratitude: those interruptions might include new opportunities or beneficial conversations with others; the house maintenance could prevent later, more costly repairs; my friend has been strengthened by the outpouring of prayer and support of family and friends and is grateful she is gradually healing.
I was thinking of all of this a few days ago, when my husband and I were trying to make a quick job of the lawn and suddenly a rain shower appeared, and the shower turned into a downpour. It has been such a dry month that our area was in serious need of the rain, and yet for a moment, I thought to myself how nice it would be if the rain stopped long enough for us to finish our mowing. Within a few moments, however, we were both giggling and talking about what we could do with the unexpected free time that was suddenly ours.
There is more here than simply finding the positive side to a potentially difficult situation. We may also experience a deeper sense of expectation when we encounter God’s grace in a new or, dare I say, unexpected way. It really should not be unexpected to know that God is with us. In faith, we are assured that we can and should expect God to be with us in every circumstance of our lives! Perhaps what is truly unexpected is the incredible good news of God’s constant love for us and the gift of the grace of God which is given us. What would change if we took this to heart and, rather than expecting the unexpected, expect to see and know that God is in our midst?