They normally arrive late afternoon or evening, but this one sauntered through at noon.
My brother, two children, and I were on the Appalachian Trail for an overnight hike. We intended to set up camp around noon and then hike farther, but an out-of-the-ordinary mid-day thunderstorm interrupted our agenda. After hurriedly setting up camp, we dashed to a nearby shelter to wait out the storm. For three hours, we watched lightning dance across the sky and listened as thunder bounced between the mountains. It was the first time we’d witnessed a noon day thunderstorm.
Jesus’ actions were normally out of the ordinary also. After his resurrection, the first person he appeared to was a formerly demon possessed lady. After Jesus rose from the dead…the first person who saw him was Mary Magdalene, the woman from whom he had cast out seven demons (Mark 16:9 NLT).
Mary Magdalene was only one of the out-of-the-ordinary followers Jesus called or attracted. Others included fishermen, a tax collector, and people the religious elite considered scum. Quite an unusual bunch to continue a worldwide campaign after his death, but they performed immaculately.
God doesn’t live in our boxes nor can they contain him. Scripture portrays him as all powerful, all knowing, and everywhere present. Traditions can distort our picture of God just as the prevalent Jewish belief put the coming Messiah in the box of conquering King. But he arrived as a Suffering Servant who would be killed instead of kill.
Boxes confine, but God’s attributes prevent our attempts. God has a plan for your life, and he’ll do what’s best and necessary to help you realize it…even if it means working in out of the ordinary ways to accomplish it. All he asks is that we trust him.
Prayer: Thank You merciful Lord for always being and doing more than our simple minds anticipate. Enable us to accept by faith the out of the ordinary surprises You send.
Martin Wiles is a “preacher’s kid,” author, speaker, and freelance writer and editor currently living in Greenwood, South Carolina. He and his wife Michelle are founders of Love Lines From God, a devotional ministry that helps those who want to enhance their spiritual journey with Christ. His latest book, Grits & Grace & God, is available at Amazon.