The Element of Surprise


Reposted from Radical Mentoring

The element of surprise is powerful. Companies keep the details of a new product release a secret until the very last minute. The bad guys didn’t know of the raid on Osama bin Laden’s hideaway until it was on. Coaches save that one special play for just the right moment . . . surprising the defense and getting the first down. In a competitive market, you hold power by knowing what you’re going to do when your competitors don’t. Sometimes, you enjoy ‘first mover advantage’ which really just means you get a head start. And if you’re on the receiving end of one of those surprises, it can be confusing or discouraging or even make you want to give up.

Now think about the element of surprise from God’s perspective. He is omniscient. He knows things we don’t. He knows what is going to happen before it happens. For us, when things happen and we’re surprised, we often get overwhelmed. We get paralyzed with fear . . . we wait for the next shoe to fall and sometimes we’ll even question God’s love for us . . . or He’s involvement in our lives. What may be worse is that we become tentative and timid . . . afraid to take even the slightest risk.

Thankfully, God isn’t our competitor. He’s our collaborator in life. He’s not trying to knock us down; He’s trying to help us through. As believers, we know He is all-powerful. By definition, as a sovereign God, He either made it happen or allowed it to happen. No surprise here . . . God was involved!

So how we respond depends 100% on how we think of God. If we see God as random, harsh, indiscriminate and/or terrifying . . . full of bad surprises, then we’re going to stay scared most of the time. If we think of God as a distant, uninvolved, “He put it in motion and left the building” kind of God, then He is going to seem irrelevant to the surprises of life.

But if we think of God as our loving, involved, powerful, accessible Heavenly Father, then we’re better able to take surprises in stride. Will we understand them all? Not by a long shot. Will they all go our way? Not a chance. But will we survive them, and survive them with peace in our guts? Absolutely. We know that our loving Heavenly Father God is there with us and for us, and the outcome will ultimately be ok. It might not be exactly what we wanted, or come when we wanted it, but it’ll be alright. Because the God of the Universe who loves us and looks out for us is writing the script.

Rest in that . . . knowing He will never leave or forsake you. Take the surprises in stride and say, “Thank you, Father . . . for loving me and being here with me.”

Scripture: We will know by this that we are of the truth, and will assure our heart before Him in whatever our heart condemns us; for God is greater than our heart and knows all things. (1 John 3:19-20)


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