Expect the unexpected...

Devotional Thought:

Philippians 4:19, "And my God will meet all your needs according to the riches of his glory in Christ Jesus."

I recently read this testimony from Alison Ritch, of Birmingham, Alabama. She writes:

"My husband and I were about to start grad school, hoping to squeak through school together living on love and Taco Bell. Charlie had a decent laptop, but my only computer was a three-inch thick 1996 laptop. So for my birthday that July, I decided to ask our families for money for a new laptop. They were quite generous, and I received $720—enough to buy a nice, new computer.

"Before I made my purchase, we took a road trip to visit several college friends. Our old Nissan pick-up—our only car—had broken down shortly before our trip, so we left the truck at the shop and drove a borrowed car. During our trip our mechanic called with the estimate for fixing the truck. It was more than we had expected, and we didn't know where we would get the money. I was so fixated on getting my new laptop, it didn't even occur to me to use the money I'd received for my birthday to fix the truck.

"I told a friend when we were out for coffee about my plans to buy a laptop. She had recently gotten a new computer and offered me her old laptop. I still didn't take the hint. I thanked her but dismissed her offer. Her laptop, while several years newer than mine and certainly adequate for the paper-writing I'd be doing, was not the shiny, new computer I'd set my sights on.

"Back at the house where we were staying that night, Charlie and I were trying to figure out how we could scrape some money together to fix the truck. Somehow I finally allowed the thought I'd subconsciously been fighting off to enter my head: I could take my friend's old computer and use my birthday money to fix our truck. I knew the Holy Spirit was telling me to surrender my plans, and I knew that insisting on my own way would be saying no to him. So, I yielded to the Spirit's prompting. As soon as I did, it was like the scales on the eyes of my heart fell off as I suddenly remembered the number I had jotted down from the mechanic: $720. God knew I needed a computer. He also knew we needed a repaired truck. He provided a free computer, and he gave us the exact amount of money—to the dollar—that we needed to fix our truck.

"We wrote that story down in a notebook we kept at the time, but not just to remind us of God's supernatural provision. As much as I rejoiced in God's provision, I was sobered by how blind I was to it for so long when it was right in front of my face. God wanted to bless me. He provided just what I needed in ways I couldn't have anticipated, but my greed almost kept me from receiving that blessing. What a warning to fix my gaze not on what my sinful heart lusts after but on my Father, who withholds no good thing from his children."

God will meet your needs but you will find it is not always in the way you imagined. In Jeremiah 29:11 God tells an exiled Israel, "For I know the plans I have for you," declares the LORD, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future." God has a plan for you. His plans are glorious and beautiful. Yet, because, as He tells us in Isaiah 55:8-9, His ways are higher than our ways and His thoughts higher than our thoughts His plans rarely match our plans. In fact we can miss his plans because we are too focused on our own plans to look and see what is under our noses.

What plans does God have for you today? To see them we must expect the unexpected and keep our eyes on Him. My prayer for you is that "God will meet all your needs according to the riches of his glory in Christ Jesus."

Prayer: Father, we thank You that You rarely listen to our plans and instead have plans for us that are better. We thank You that You meet our needs through our Lord, Jesus. Help us to expect the unexpected and keep our eyes on You today. In Jesus name, amen.