EXPECT THE UNEXPECTED
By Janice Price
It was just before midnight when I spotted movement out of the corner of one eye, and my heart began to pound as soon as I saw the size of the dog running silently past us on the other side of the road. My first thought was, Please don’t stop and turn around.
I was halfway home from walking my two dogs to the corner before turning in for the night. The street was deserted and I had already had one terrifying experience of three dogs attacking the smaller dog a year earlier. But, wait, I calmed myself, dogs don’t run like that.
It wasn’t a dog; it was a white-tailed deer loping down the sidewalk. Not running full speed as if she had been spooked, but loping, much like a human might jog down the highway to check on Aunt Sally’s welfare. She didn’t even break stride as the dogs labored at their leashes, making enough racket to wake the neighborhood. Buddy, the hound, bayed at the top of his lungs and Merci added her tiny, high-pitched bark. I had a good look at the doe as she passed under a street light. In the middle of the curve, she crossed the road and turned left at the next corner.
I watched the doe disappear from sight, scarcely able to believe my own eyes. This sight would not surprise anyone who lives in the country, but I live in town. Granted, deer can occasionally be spotted in the woods across from the mill a mere two or three blocks away, but I have never before seen a deer on this street.
Expect the unexpected. These words ran though my mind as we continued our walk. Earlier my thoughts had been more along the lines of, I’m watching others prosper physically, financially and Spiritually, and I hear about their answered prayers. Have you forgotten me, God?
No, God has not forgotten me. A lone doe loping down a city street reminded me that with God anything is possible, no matter how impossible it might seem to find a solution or how involved the problem. God moves in his own time and he deals with each of us as individuals.
I am not Vicki, Paul or Donna, and I should not try to imitate any of them - or anyone else, for that matter. Neither should I envy anyone else’s talents or blessings. There is a place in God’s plan for a single woman with no children or grandchildren, a houseful of animals and no particular or exceptional talents. God can use anyone he wants wherever he wants. After all, he is sovereign. If he can raise the dead and heal the lame, blind and deaf, then he can educate and cultivate an aging, rebellious body (mine, not God’s) and a mind that needs a foghorn installed. (People used to have memory lapses. Now we have “brain fog.”)
Wherever I fit into God’s plan, it will be a niche specially suited to my particular background, personality, talents, current Spiritual level and prospective Spiritual growth. God is pruning and shaping me, just as he is all of the body of Christ. That’s a bit scary, but exciting. I can not imagine what God can do with me. Will I be a professional writer? Certainly not a public speaker! Perhaps I will be able to encourage others who feel imprisoned by physical, financial or travel limitations. I do not know where God will lead me or what the future holds for me.
As Isaiah 55:8 informs us, God’s thoughts are not our thoughts and his ways are not our ways. He rarely answers prayers as I – or anyone else - expect him to answer them. I need to keep my eyes on God and my feet planted firmly on the gospel. And I should never forget that with God I should expect the unexpected.
© 2005 Janice Price