Expected: regard (something) as likely to happen
Unexpected: unforeseen; surprising
Jesus knocked on our door today. His name was Mr. Johnson.*
He rang the doorbell, actually, 2 or 3 times before he knocked. It was 8:30am – a Sunday morning! The dogs were barking. Our quiet sleep-in was breached.
The youngest had already clambered out of bed and peeked through the curtains to bring me this full report: “It’s a tax man or business man or something.”
“On a Sunday morning?”, I quietly asked myself, rhetorical, of course. So then, with much less effort required to clamber, I got out of bed and went to the door. I held onto the collar of our eldest furry matriarch as I opened the door just a smidgen enough to look this unannounced visitor in the eyes.
What happened next was a blur. A sudden, wonderful rush of glad tidings. I okayed it with our guest that he was good with dogs, and invited this stranger-no-more inside.
“Reed, put a shirt on and come out here please”, I called to our recent high school graduate.
Mr. Johnson stepped inside, offering his hand for the sniff-test and subsequent, almost obligatory, pet patting of both of our dogs, before Reed rounded the corner.
“Hello Reed! I’m with Haddum Corporation.* Some time ago, you applied to our scholarship program, and I don’t know how it happened, but your name was overlooked at the award ceremony at your school last month. So I’m here this morning to congratulate you, young man, and award you our highest scholarship. We are so proud of you for continuing your education and following your dreams.”
Reed had applied to a handful of scholarships this year, but hadn’t received a single one outside of the merit-based state scholarship and a small scholarship at the college where he had applied. He had received rejection letters (hate calling them that, but they do leave you feeling rejected, none-the-less) from all of the places he applied except for Haddum.
When Reed was invited to attend the awards ceremony at his high school in May, we all were hopeful that he would then receive a scholarship award from Haddum. Instead, he came home with an unexpected recognition certificate for Theatre Arts – which totally surprised us! – but no Haddum scholarship. 9 other students received one, but not Reed. It was disheartening.
In this life,
You shake off disappointments.
You rid yourself of that feeling of rejection.
And you move forward.
You don’t condemn Haddum.
You congratulate your fellow students who received the scholarship.
And you trust that God has worked everything out for you.
And when you least expect it, God shows up, sometimes in person, to confirm that He has worked things out and that He is still in control. He knocks on your door at 8:30am on a Sunday morning, unexpected, to bring you news of good tidings and joy. He blows your mind. He loves you. And He reminds you that all you have to do is Trust Him.
God’s plans are always better than anything we can hope for.
This morning, in our little house, we were given a gift – more than the scholarship. We were given a tangible reminder of God With Us. All the time. Not just when we feel He “shows up in person”. God has been here the whole time, waiting on His perfect timing, so that He would be Glorified through this generous gifting.
Had Reed received the scholarship from Haddum at the awards ceremony, it would have been expected, sort of, and honestly, it would have been easy to give Reed the glory for obtaining it. BUT, even when (even though) we work hard to achieve things, God is The One to receive all the Glory, for it is only by His Hands that we are able to do great things.
This morning I am praising Him, and thanking Him…
Glory, Glory, Hallelujah!
Great things He hath done.
*The names of the business and scholarship presenter have been changed.