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Have you ever had a time in your life when God did a work for you that came straight out of left field?

The blessing, provision or miracle he bestowed on you caught you off guard and astonished you. It was completely unexpected and surprising.

You never saw it coming.

God seems to like to work that way, doesn’t he?

Think of Moses in the Old Testament, when he was leading the children of Israel out of bondage in Egypt.

They found themselves in a jam: cornered at the Red Sea with the Egyptian army snapping at their heels.

Moses had faith that God would save them, but I wonder if he was racking his brains trying to figure out just how it would happen.

Maybe God would send a flotilla of boats from the other side to rescue them, Dunkirk-style? But no one knew they were coming, and at any rate, the only people on the other side were either enemies or strangers.

Maybe God would send an affable and reasonable Egyptian captain to negotiate with Moses? Not likely, since all of Egypt’s firstborn had just been killed. The Egyptians were in no mood to parley with their escaped slaves.

No matter what Moses came up with as a potential solution, he never could have expected the curveball that God threw:

God miraculously parted the waters of the Red Sea and allowed the Israelites to cross over on dry ground, then closed up the waters to drown their enemies. Moses surely didn’t see that one coming!

And that’s not the only curveball that God threw…

Scripture is crammed with examples of God coming out of left field to accomplish his purposes.

God arranges for Joseph, a slave and prisoner, to become prime minister of Egypt.

Young David, mocked by his older brothers, slays the giant Goliath and later becomes King of Israel.

The Messiah is born not to a reigning queen but to a poor teenage girl.

Saul, the persecutor of Christians, becomes Paul, their greatest champion.

Jesus uses the contents of a boy’s lunchpail to feed over 5,000 people.

Photo by Leonard J. Matthews on Flickr CC BY-ND 2.0

God loves to surprise us and do something totally unconventional.

“He performs wonders that cannot be fathomed, miracles that cannot be counted.” (Job 5:9)

“My thoughts are nothing like your thoughts,” says the LORD. “And my ways are far beyond anything you could imagine.” (Isaiah 55:8)

You can say that again!

God really came out of left field when he solved the sin problem for us.

We were faced with an insurmountable obstacle: sinful people being unable to approach a holy God. You just can’t square that circle. How would God do it? Destroy us all? Require us to appease him by sacrificing our children, as some gods of the ancients did?

No, God did the unexpected. He sacrificed his own son to bridge the gulf between us. The death and resurrection of Jesus secured redemption for our sins.

Humanity never saw that coming.

What sort of God does that?

One who loves us too much to be without us.

So put your trust in him, and don’t be surprised if he comes out of left field and does something wonderful for you!

“Now all glory to God, who is able, through his mighty power at work within us, to accomplish infinitely more than we might ask or think.”

ephesians 3:20

© 2022 Lori J. Cartmell. All rights reserved.

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