The Unexpected


God’s thoughts are not our thoughts. His ways are not our ways.  He doesn’t always answer our prayers like we want Him to. His will does not always align with ours.

In fact, most of the time it doesn’t.

I have been thinking about the first Christmas when Jesus was born. He came in such an unexpected way.

If I was the one in charge of planning the grand entrance for God’s son, the housing possibilities certainly would not have included an animal cave or a manger for a crib.

Even the people back in those days who were waiting in anticipation for Jesus’ arrival, had different expectations. They were expecting a king who would come, take charge, overthrow the government, and establish his earthly throne.

Yet God turned the world upside down in a way no one ever expected.

My friend Brandi writes:

Mary was “highly favored.” To me that means a flat road and comfortable temperatures. All that the angel said was true, but my “Southern Comfort Christianity” says wait, what?! Mary pregnant. Not married. Lives in Nazareth. The trip to Bethlehem from Nazareth would have taken about 33 hours on foot by present day calculations. Then the inn was full so Joseph ended up taking her to a place where Jesus’ bed was a manger and swaddling clothes were His covers.

I have spent much of my Christian life trying to understand why God does what He does. I find myself trying to manipulate God’s will into mine. I try to fit God into my nice little organized “it has to make sense to Rachel” box.

But the more I try, the more I realize I can’t. I do not have the capacity to fully understand God’s ways or why He does what He does.

We might not be able to track God’s hand, but we can trust His heart.

Building trust begins with prayer.

In A Praying Life, Paul Miller writes, “I do not understand prayer. Prayer is deeply personal and deeply mysterious. Adults try to figure out causation. Little children don’t. They just ask.”

Little children just ask.


Because they trust.

He wants us to abide in Him. He wants us to trust Him.

The more time we spend getting to know God, the more our trust in Him will grow.

Paul Miller also says, “At the center of self-will is me, carving a world in my image, but at the center of prayer is God, carving me in his Son’s image.”

Let’s draw near to the heart of God this Christmas and allow Him to do the “unexpected” in us.

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