Monday, 22 September 2014

God of surprises

"Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us ..." is part of Paul's prayer in Ephesians 3. As I have unpacked my thoughts on a difficult situation and its outcome, this week, this scripture reminded me that in my fallible humanity, it is hard sometimes to figure out what surprising thing God might do through it.

Yet God does do surprising and amazing things, things that astound and encourage us, at least that's my experience. From Paul's writing that seems to have been his experience as well. Our God always has the ability to do what we could not dream of or expect, his ways and his will often bringing about so much more than we could expect.

I guess one of the issues for us all, is that in our limitations we focus on what we can tangibly understand or grasp, a solution to a problem, how to formulate a new mission opportunity and such like things. Tangible is safe and secure, tangible is achievable and  comfortable. The secondary problem is being able to trust God when our trust level is damaged or even broken down by experiences or what we are in the middle of. But God is the same yesterday, today and forever, surprising and doing the unimaginable. Walking out with God is often unsafe, insecure and pretty scary by our measures of things. But God will not let us down, he equips us for the task he calls us to and strengthens us to handle it, he asks us to put out faith and trust in him, our hands in his hands.

One example of this trust in God, is Stephen, called to serve the church giving out charity to the widows of the church, God leads him into dangerous territory which leads to his untimely death One of my favourite leadership examples in the Bible is Nehemiah. I man who was prepared to trust his life to God's call, who even when opposed stood firm and found that others began to stand with him. The account of Nehemiah provides some surprises as his trusts to God's call on his life, not seeking anything for himself but helping and encouraging the people to step up to the task of rebuilding the walls of Jerusalem.

The wonder of seeing God do something unexpected, surprising and amazing, is faith building, trust building and just plain amazing.