Expect the Unexpected

Imagine the existence of a man, crippled from birth, who spends his days begging for change at a busy thoroughfare. A life of uncertainty, disappointment, and rejection is all he has known. But now someone has stopped, made eye contact with him, and commanded him to look up. This is different. This is new. But there’s still no reason to hope, is there?

Now Peter and John were going up to the temple at the hour of prayer, the ninth hour. And a man lame from birth was being carried, whom they laid daily at the gate of the temple that is called the Beautiful Gate to ask alms of those entering the temple. Seeing Peter and John about to go into the temple, he asked to receive alms. And Peter directed his gaze at him, as did John, and said, “Look at us.” And he fixed his attention on them, expecting to receive something from them. But Peter said, “I have no silver and gold, but what I do have I give to you. In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, rise up and walk!” And he took him by the right hand and raised him up, and immediately his feet and ankles were made strong. And leaping up he stood and began to walk, and entered the temple with them, walking and leaping and praising God. And all the people saw him walking and praising God, and recognized him as the one who sat at the Beautiful Gate of the temple, asking for alms. And they were filled with wonder and amazement at what had happened to him. Acts 3:1-10

Just another day of begging for change—any pittance of gold and silver—and this man receives an unparalleled, impossible gift that he never could have expected! His new bones, muscles, and ligaments are infused with a life and strength that they have never known. I can walk…I can walk! Limbs dormant for a lifetime are now pulsing with life and trembling with vitality. Oh God, I can walk!

The no-longer-lame man can now no longer be still. He stands, he walks, he spins and leaps and dances! “But this is the man who I’ve seen every day for my life…how is it that he is walking?” Has anyone seen such a thing? Wonder, amazement, and astonishment mark the faces of those who watch him leaping for joy and praising God.

“Don’t gawk at us, we didn’t make him walk,” Peter tells them. “God has done this!”

Isn’t that just like God? We ask Him for something we think we need, and—in His infinite wisdom—He gives us exceedingly more than we could have ever imagined. It’s like asking for a quarter and winning the lottery. Or asking for a sandwich and getting the restaurant. Or asking for pocket change and…being given legs!

Each of us is a beggar, a cripple, a lame man. Each wants something from God, but we dare not hope that He provides. “Just a quarter, God. Just a bite, just a thought, just a moment of your time.” Brothers and sisters, God longs to shower each of us with inordinate (“unusually or disproportionately large”) blessings! If we know how to give good gifts to our own kids, how much more will our Father give good things when we ask Him (Matthew 7:11)?

Anticipating what God is going to do is truly an impossible task. Predict the unpredictable? Know the unknowable? God will always surprise us, and the only way to align our human expectations with His reality is simply to expect the unexpected!

What can you UNexpect from God today?

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