Gradual change reminds me of the shifts that occur when winter becomes spring. In February, which is often the coldest month, we know that spring is near, even though winter is colder than it has even been. Despite brisk temperatures, random moments give evidence that spring arrives soon. Robins release random, cheerful tunes, and I know that they have caught a whiff of spring in a breeze or a ray of sunshine poking through the trees.
The robins answer the writer of Isaiah 43:19, “See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it?” The robins perceive that spring is on the way, through it has not officially arrived yet.
Like the robin, I have observed signs of a grand change in my life, even though the moment of culmination is still somewhat far away. I observe it in my work, in my relationship with the Lord, and in who I have become in the last six years. I am a very different Rachel than I was before, and even in the past year of my life, I have sensed a rapid and intense molding of my character that has made me curious about what all of this refinement is about.
I imagine that robins do not give up hope that spring will come when a blizzard strikes the day after a ray of sunshine was warmer than usual. I, too, remind myself not to grow weary when the Lord says things are changing, but monotony strings together my days or when there is a trial that does not fit the season of good things that the Lord promised is on the way.
I do not know what is ahead of me. I have hunches and theories, but I try to leave room for the Lord to appear however he pleases. Oswald Chambers writes in My Utmost for his highest, “Do not look for God to come in a particular way, but do look for him. The way to make room for him is to expect Him to come, but not in a certain way. No matter how well we know God, the great lesson is that He may break in at any minute. We tend to overlook the element of surprise, yet God never works any other way. Suddenly, God meets your life, “…when it pleased God…” (Galatians 1:15).
Everyday, I look for signs that God is near, whether he appears through a note from a friend, a scripture, a thought, or a happy tune from a bird. And as the signs become more evident and more frequent, I anticipate his grand arrival even more, but I will not allow my imagination to run wild, so that the Lord can arrive when and how he sees fit.
You write, “We tend to overlook the element of surprise, yet God never works any other way.” Why? Because He wants to be glorified! Isn’t the Bible, the word of God, is full of surprise? However, God is looking for the hearts that are willing to say yes to the surprises he wants to bring forth, no matter how it seems strange in the natural sense. Mary epitomized that when she said, “I am the Lord’s servant … May it be to me as you have said” (Luke 1:38). She did so in defiance of everything that seemed right in the circumstances she lived in.
Hailu, Amen! Yes, I agree that surprises from God also require, in some ways, our alignment with God’s will. Our submission.