RELIGION: God of the Unexpected

God of the Unexpected
by Rodney Tilley, Pastor Van Horn Community Church

Out in the pine hill country from my home town back in Louisiana, there used to be a small church in a place called, “Moss Ridge.” I am not sure if it is still there or not, but when I was younger we went there for a Friday night youth rally and it was a night I can still remember.  

     All the youth had all settled in and were singing, “I’ll Fly Away,” when right past the second verse a tiny mouse got caught in the old floor fan and like a trapeze artist, he came flying through the grate and into the air. In slow motion, or so it seemed, the whole church watched as the mouse in fear came to a resting place right in the middle of the church congregation, and with precision, next to the teenage girls. That was all that was needed to turn the church service from a funeral dirge to singing the “Hallelujah Chorus” as the girls screamed in sequence. It was totally unexpected and totally unforgettable. 

     Unexpected, not exactly like when your wife first whispered, “I’m pregnant,” or when the boss calls you in and all you hear is “You’re fired.” At those unexpected times, you gasp and blink your eyes, and hope is just a blip in time. But God is the God of the unexpected. 

     He took Moses and the people of Israel to the edge of the Red Sea and in show of power and might, he parted the sea, like a book turning a page, and it was totally unexpected. 

     Jesus meets a blind man, who calls out for mercy, thinking he is going to receive one more coin in alms, when unexpectedly, Jesus touches the man and the restores his sight. 

     I am an avid church attendee, and I should be since I am the pastor, but I do wish God would surprise us again. Church becomes predictable and stale. You know that Ms. Smith is going to get a coughing spell, and Bro. Bill will drop his quarter offering on the floor. But wait, wait, till God tries to get your attention and out of the mundane, he unexpectedly interrupts the service and the wonder sets in. 

     This Sunday, I am not praying for a mouse to come unexpectedly, or for a snake for that matter, but I am praying for God to part the sea, transform lives, and unexpectedly heal Ms. Smith of her coughing. I am also asking for God to encourage Bro. Bill to give more than a quarter dropped onto the floor. 

     I am praying that he grabs us all unexpectedly, just wait, for he is the God of the unexpected. 


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