My niece bought a new car. She is divorced and her children are grown and living in other states. She has struggled as a single parent, making her own way in life for several years. So, a new car purchase was a pretty big event, but who she could share the news and excitement with was a dilemma.
My niece lives in west Tulsa, her brother lives in Broken Arrow, so she decided to drive over and share her news and excitement with him and his wife. After looking the car over, oohing and ah-hing over its features and beauty, they all decided to go out and eat.
They headed out, not knowing where they were going. They discussed their options as they went. They spotted a barbecue restaurant and decided barbecue sounded pretty good. They didn’t stop at the restaurant they spotted but drove to another they liked better.
After they arrived and were just getting settled, guess who walked into the restaurant? My niece’s other sister and her husband who live in Beggs. As the old saying goes, “You could have knocked them over with a feather!” A family reunion, all three of the brothers and sisters all together in a restaurant in Broken Arrow – totally unplanned!
It is indeed a small world we live in and unlikely circumstances sometimes just completely surprise us. I’ve personally had several of these surprises over the years, and I suspect you’ve had some too. They make life interesting and bring a smile to our faces.
Mark 9:38-40 says, “John said to him, “Teacher, we saw someone casting out demons in your name, and we tried to stop him, because he was not following us.” But Jesus said, “Do not stop him, for no one who does a mighty work in my name will be able soon afterward to speak evil of me. For the one who is not against us is for us.”
And then John 10:16 tells us, “And I have other sheep that are not of this fold. I must bring them also, and they will listen to my voice. So there will be one flock, one shepherd.”
I’m not sure I can say with one-hundred percent certainty what Jesus meant by those two statements, but I am fairly certain of this: when we get to heaven, we are going to be surprised. Some people we thought would never make it there, will be there. Some people we thought would surely be there, will not be there.
If I have learned anything in my many years of walking with and serving my Lord, it is this: He is full of surprises. He does not always do what we expect Him to do. We sing it, “God will make a way, where there seems to be no way. He works in ways we cannot see, He will make a way.” He will do things we did not expect and accomplish things we never thought could be done.
I love God’s surprises, don’t you? They bring joy into my life and make me smile!
– Just a Thought Dale Fillmore is lead pastor at First Church of the Nazarene, Okmulgee.