Jan 5 2011

The God of Surprises

elk 3178This morning my wife e-mailed me to tell me there were some elk hanging out behind where she works.  I immediately packed my camera gear and headed in that direction.  What a pleasant surprise it was to find a bull elk and five does hanging out.  Since this is the first time I have been able to photograph elk here where I live it was a very exciting time.  One never knows what surprises each day may bring.

Anyone who is a student of the Bible knows that God is a God of surprises.  When the prophet declared that God’s thoughts and ways are beyond ours that was an understatement.  In so many ways God is unpredictable.  You never know what He might do.  The Christmas story itself is a classic example.  To begin with, who could have imagined that God would enter the world as a human being?  Likewise, who could have imagined that when He came that His birth would take place in a stable?  When Jesus grew up and started teaching he was constantly surprising people.  Who would have ever thought that “the first will be last and the last will be first”?  Who would have dreamed of ever declaring “Blessed are the poor” or “Blessed or those who mourn”?  Who could have imagined that salvation would be made possible by a person’s death on a cross?  How could anyone have anticipated Jesus emerging from the tomb on that first Easter morning?

elk 3430Yes, God is a God of surprises!  What I experienced this morning with the elk is similar to my experiences with God.  I never know when I wake up in the morning what God might have to say to me or how He might reveal Himself.  I learned a long time ago that I can’t put God in a box.  I learned early on that church sanctuaries are not the only place we might encounter Him.  My study of the Bible and daily experience has taught me that I might just as well encounter Him in the hug of a child, the extended hand of a beggar, or even a field with a small herd of elk.  We must ever be on the lookout for the God who is full of surprises.