Surprised By Grace

This week Christy, the boys, and I journeyed to my hometown of Bay City for a few days at home with family. On Monday Mom offered to watch all six grandsons (my sister has three boys too) so Christy and I could go for a date. We went to Houston, had lunch and saw a double feature. Now, my plan was a compromise: I'd take her to see either THE HELP or CRAZY STUPID LOVE, and I'd pick COWBOYS VS. ALIENS or some other cheesy thing.  Turns out we saw both of "her" movies.  And they were both great!

Oak Lawn UMC's new book club meets next Monday to discuss THE HELP, which I have not read but Christy enjoyed very much. I didn't know anything about the story. CRAZY STUPID LOVE was the real surprise. I am not the biggest fan of modern comedies-- too much inappropriate (gross) humor. So I went with very low expectations. Turns out it was great, with real insights into how relationships work. Of the two movies it was my favorite.

Sometimes our expectations get in the way of a new thing God is trying to do. We are so sure we have everything figured out, that things will turn out as we expect, that we fail to be surprised by grace.  In the book of Genesis, this happens to Jacob. He's walking through the wilderness and lays down to sleep.  He dreams of a ladder descending from heaven and God visits him in the dream, making a covenant to be with Jacob always. In the morning Jacob wakes up and says, "Surely the Lord was in this place, and I did not even know it!" (Genesis 28:16).

So I caution each of us: stay aware of the possibility of God's new thing. Jesus said to the disciples all the time: "Keep awake!". Whether it's a day at the movies, travels far from home, or just everyday life, remember that God is always working in our lives. And when we recognize it let's be quick to recognize it and be thankful!

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