So I’m learning to be an early riser. It’s not natural for me, but I tend to do my best thinking in the quiet of an early morning (or late night…which I prefer). While I love seeing the sun rise as I putter around the house, it’s that getting up in what feels like the middle of the night that’s not as appealing.
As I was beginning the day, preparing for the day, picking out clothes to wear, and talking to God, I said something remarkable in my prayer to Him. I said words I’ve never said before. I asked Him, “Father, what do You have for me in this day? Would you give me the eyes to see it?”
Something within me clicked.
I was talking with a friend of mine last week about something my Mom shared with me. I asked my Mom how she does life. How does she live in “the middle,” as I put it, not knowing what will come, not resting in assumptions based on human understanding, but resting in the uncertainty of life. She responded with some simple, but profound words, “I’ve just learned to receive what the Lord gives me.” Wow.
I’ve been pondering Oswald Chamber’s April 29 entry in My Utmost for His Highest for the last 10 months. For me, it seems like everything comes back to that in what God is teaching me. The entry is titled “Gracious Uncertainty,” and it just stuck with me (as you can tell by the title of my blog) because it covers so many points that I want to grow in, including placing the entirety of my faith and expectation in the only One who is faithful.
I marveled at my Mom’s faith, but I see that God is helping me get to that same place. If every day is a gift from God of His unearned grace, then it’s not a matter of praying, “God, help me get through this day especially in light of the fact of who I’m not and what I don’t have.” Instead, I should be saying, “God, thank you for this day that You’ve given me. Thank You for who I am and who I am becoming because of Your faithful work in me. Father, what do You have for me in this day? Would you give me the eyes to see it?”
Since His grace is not earned, anything could happen. Anything… It’s not a matter if I’m “ready” or not, accomplished or not, a “good Christian” or not. What happens in my life is a matter of God’s abundant goodness and wise sovereignty. But am I really expecting to be surprised by His grace each day? Or do I think I know exactly what this day holds, so I either expect too much or too little?
By saying in essence, “surprise me,” I’m surrendering to Him as I humbly admit my inability to forecast anything or live with certainty about anything else but Him. And even in that, I need God’s help to stay grounded in Him. I don’t know what’s going to happen today, but as Oswald Chambers says, we may not know how He will come in, but we can be sure that He will come. l must remain faithful to Him.
I’ll let you know how this day goes.
Update: 8:34 p.m.
So what did this day hold? Quite a bit! Here’s an overview:
- Another great hair day. 😉
- Going to the “Spiritual Emphasis Day” event at work when I thought I would be trapped in a 3-4 hour (not fun) project meeting.
- A great group discussion with coworkers at that event as we talked about what life would be like if we had the mind of Christ.
- A free lunch from Sergio’s Mexican (courtesy of that same event) with great lunch buddies.
- Running into people I know while on main campus.
- A end of day phone call with a consultant to nail down remaining project details. (May not be a big deal to you, but on this project I’ve been working on, it’s astounding!)
- A walking buddy to the parking lot when I was getting off of work.
- Gas from Costco that was still under $2 a gallon.
- A beautiful full moon on a clear night to stare at while I pumped my gas. (I love when there’s a full moon.)
- A quick chat with my oldest sister on the east coast during the ride home.
- Quiet time in the car to decompress, sing, and talk to God. (got that on the way to work too…)
- A safe trip from work because on the way home I passed by a 3-4 car pile up that happened just minutes before I drove by (and for that matter also a safe trip to work earlier today).
- Seeing my sister and nephew this evening after I got home (a rarity since I usually get back WAY after she picks him up).
- A night without cooking since I had leftovers from Thai food the other day.
- A 5.0 earthquake centered just a few miles away.
- Chatting with friends I haven’t talked to in quite a while via Facebook status comments thanks to that very earthquake.
- Getting email in my inbox from friends (and not just the standard messages about low airfares and my next Netflix DVD).
- Finding a comment on this blog post from my friend Beth. That’s three! =)
- Feeling an aftershock (8:48 p.m.) but knowing I’m safe and sound.
Wow. It’s crazy how as you think about the day and what God gave you in it, there’s so much that He gives! As I realize how much there is to be thankful for, I begin to see the true extent of how ungrateful I can be. How it must fly in the face of the Father when all I can do is focus on what I don’t have! And then I have the nerve to whine about it! Now, it’s not that I don’t think I should be honest with God about my desires or my feelings and all that, but it just makes me see how blinded I can become to the showers of blessing He gives every day.
It excites me to realize that my perspective is changing. I can’t help but smile when I think of the fact that this day is not through. And tomorrow’s a new day. Who knows what all the Lord will do in it? If I choose to look for His movement, to expect it, then I’ll find, as Oswald says, He will fill my life with surprises. Mmm…
All I can do is smile at the thought. And so I quietly say again to the Father, “Surprise me.”