Devotion: Expect the unexpected
Written By Dianna Hobbs // Your Daily Cup of Inspiration
Our youngest son, Kaleb, who just turned 13, is a gifted animator. He’s also a stop motion video creator. It’s one of his favorite things to do. He uses his superhero action figures as characters and builds fun backdrops with household items to create an imaginary world. He’s so good at what he does; I love seeing his creativity flourishing.
The other day, Kaleb asked me if there was anywhere we could find something that looks like grass for a stop motion project he’s working on. Since it’s still too chilly here in Buffal to film outside in our backyard (It’s snowing today!), he and I looked around to see what options might work indoors.
So we went to Hobby Lobby’s website and came across some craft paper that looks just like grass for only 25 cents per sheet. It was the perfect option for him, and it was super cheap, which is an added bonus! I made the purchase and he was happy.
The next day he came to me and asked how long before we would receive the craft paper in the mail. I told him, according to the website, it takes a few days to process the order and between 1-7 business days to ship it.
“Oh man,” Kaleb said with slumped shoulders.
The wait is a bit longer than he had hoped. He was hoping the craft sheets would arrive within a couple of days. But after a few moments, he shrugged and said, “Oh well,” and expressed that he is simply glad we found what he needed. With that, Kaleb flashed a slight smile and exited the room.
In life, no matter who you are, you will have plenty of moments when things don’t go according to plan. Although we have all heard someone say expect the unexpected, truth be told, we prefer the predictable. Be that as it may, rarely do things turn out just as we had anticipated. Sometimes, the unexpected is bad. At other times, it’s good, like what happened in Mark 16:1-8.
Early Sunday morning, Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of James, and Salome got together to carry out a plan, but something unexpected happened to them. Mark 15:41 tells us they had been following the Messiah around Galilee, ministering to Him, and supporting His ministry.
The ladies were on a mission that day. The Savior had already been crucified. He had died for the sins of the world and been buried in a tomb. So these devoted women had bought spices to anoint Jesus’ body. They were so sure He would be in the tomb that they were having a conversation in Mark 16:3, asking each other, “Who will roll the stone away from the entrance of the tomb?”
Although Jesus had already said in John 2:19, “If you destroy this body, in three days I’ll raise it up,” the women had no inclination that when they arrived at the tomb, the stone would already be rolled away. They had no clue that when they entered the tomb, they would see a young man dressed in a white robe sitting on the right side. But that’s exactly what happened, and it scared them.
In verses 6-7 this angel said, “Don’t be alarmed. You are looking for Jesus the Nazarene, who was crucified. He has risen! He is not here. See the place where they laid him. But go, tell his disciples and Peter, ‘He is going ahead of you into Galilee. There you will see him, just as he told you.’”
They got the surprise of their lives, and it was the best surprise they could have ever hoped to receive. Though they were astonished and afraid, that unexpected twist was, and still remains, the most significant moment in the history of the world. Jesus’ resurrection made salvation available to all and gave the gift of eternal life to all who believe! It’s amazing. I love this story and how God’s plan thwarted these ladies’ plan that day in such a great way.
And you know what? God still upsets plans and causes unexpected twists for the glory of His name. That’s what He’s doing in your life. I know some things haven’t gone your way. What you were looking forward to, didn’t materialize. But don’t be fearful, worried, anxious, stressed, or discouraged, because God has a much better plan. You might not understand what’s happening, just as Mary Magdalene and the other women didn’t, but you can be sure that this unexpected twist is not a surprise to God.
Keep in mind Isaiah 55:8-9 which teaches us His ways are not our ways. In fact, they are better. His thoughts are not our thoughts; they are higher. His methods are not like ours; they are superior. So instead of being upset that it didn’t go your way, shrug your shoulders, say oh well, and be happy that something good—even better than you expected—is on the way.
Later on in this biblical story, Jesus appeared to His disciples and revealed that He had risen. He had kept His promise. Death had not defeated Him. The grave could not hold Him. And the good news is, the same resurrecting power that raised Jesus from the dead is alive in you. It’s alive in your situation. It’s working in your life. This is not over. There’s more to your story. On the other side of this unexpected twist is something incredible.
Romans 11:33 NLT, which is what I’m stirring into your cup of inspiration, says, “Oh, how great are God's riches and wisdom and knowledge! How impossible it is for us to understand his decisions and his ways!”
As you drink down the contents of your cup, remember, don’t try to figure God out, just let Him work it out. Be assured that the way He does things will be a blessing to your life. Instead of trying to predict the outcome, expect the unexpected and trust His sovereignty. There is an unanticipated harvest waiting for you.
Now let’s pray.
God, I don’t understand what you’re doing. There are some things I thought would work out one way and it didn’t happen. Please help me to resist discouragement and remember that Your plan is best, and You have something even greater in store for me. I trust You and I thank You for it. In Jesus’ name, Amen.