Thursday, May 12, 2016

Expect the Unexpected - Martin Wiles

Don’t be surprised at the fiery trials you are going through, as if something strange were happening to you. 1 Peter 4:12 NLT

A deer in a dove field is not what I expected. 

While I didn’t grow up in the country, both sets of my grandparents had. Dove hunting was one part of country life I enjoyed. One of my cousins would perch me and another cousin atop his car, spin out through a field—slinging dust and us across the hood of his car, and finally deposit us at one edge of the field. Now that everything in sight was stirred up, we waited for the doves to fly across. 

As I lingered, what came wasn’t doves but a cry: “Shoot him, shoot him.” As I turned my eyes from the sky to the ground, I glanced a large buck thrashing across the field and aiming directly at me. Although I had buckshot, I had no time to load it. I shot, but to no avail. I was expecting doves…not a buck. 

Early believers—Peter’s audience, was peppered by persecution. Being a Christian in the first century was dangerous—and sometimes life-threatening. If Jesus was persecuted and killed, they shouldn’t expect any less by identifying with Him. 

Life is full of expectations. Spouses expect their spouses to love them, not leave them. Employees expect their bosses to pay them, not fire them. Children expect parents to love them, not abuse them. Landlords expect their tenants to pay them, not abuse their dwellings. 

Life is also dotted with the unexpected. Divorce, abuse, wrecks, broken bones, life altering events, tragedies, financial meltdowns, emotional battles—and attacks from Satan and those who represent him. 

We shouldn’t be surprised by the unexpected attacks. We live in a shattered world ruled by an evil personage who loves nothing more than to see us turn our backs on God and descend into the pit of bitterness and anger. 

Expecting the unexpected, however, helps us respond in a healthier way. Trusting in a loving God, believing He is in control, and asking Him for strength to face what’s assaulting us is always the healthier approach. Nothing is allowed that isn’t for our ultimate good. 

Prepare for the unexpected. It’s just around the corner. 

Prayer: Father, give us wisdom and courage to face the unexpected. 

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