When Life Throws You a Surprise Party {and you don’t like surprises}

Have you ever found yourself in a situation, a job, a calling, a relationship that surprised you—as in “I did not see this coming or happening this way”? There have been a few of those in my lifetime.

I’m not a big fan of surprises. By definition a surprise is an unexpected event. Stuff happens that’s not on my list, someone else is in control, and I may not be prepared.

Let me share an example. I was surprised at the call to educate our children at home. I am the mom who said, “I could/would never home school my kids.” It’s probably not the first time God laughed at my “never”. I had it all planned—all 18 wonderful years. My oldest was in third grade and I had enrolled my daughter in kindergarten. We bought a house in this city because of the great schools.

Caleb Homeschool 2

“I’ll-never-do-that” turned into a litany of “I-don’t-know-how and what-if and what-about and when-will-I”? (We’ve been homeschooling for over 12 years now.)

If you’re not a home schooling family and/or you’re opposed to the idea of home schooling keep reading. This isn’t me trying to convince you of the value of home schooling. My desire is to convince you of something much greater. Here it is:

God is Jehovah-Jireh. He is our Provider.

We are introduced to God by this name, Jehovah Jireh—which means The Lord Will Provide—in Genesis 22 when Abraham is about to sacrifice his only son Isaac on Mount Moriah. God provides the lamb for sacrifice and Isaac is spared. We learn much about God, Abraham, and Isaac in this story that can impact how we react to the surprises that come our way.

Surprise Party

Know this:

1. God is never surprised. He is The All-Knowing, All-Seeing God of Creation and whatever surprising place, job, marriage, relationship you are in today know that He is not surprised. Rest in His knowing.
2. God has a plan. As we look back on the story of Abraham and Isaac on Mt. Moriah we can see how God had a plan and a purpose all along. He knew when he asked Abraham to offer Isaac as a sacrifice that He would provide the lamb. He also knew that Abraham would obey and we would have a glimpse, even from the Genesis beginning, that God was working His plan to provide Jesus as our sacrificial lamb. Whatever surprising situation you find yourself in know that God has a plan. He always does. It may not make sense to you and me but the God who created the universe is perfectly capable to act on our behalf.
3. God will provide. In our surprising places we always have a need. Often that need is beyond our ability to provide. God delights in using the circumstances of our lives to show Himself as our Jehovah-Jireh. He has a provision ready for your greatest need.

Do this:

1. Be the Abraham. From the Scripture we see that Abraham promptly obeyed what God had instructed him to do. “So Abraham rose early in the morning, saddled his donkey, and took two of his young men with him, and his son Isaac. And he cut the wood for the burnt offering and arose and went to the place of which God had told him” (Genesis 22:3) No excuses. No waiting. He made use of the resources that had already been provided by God and took the first step in obedience. He obeyed God, even to the point of giving up his Isaac, because he trusted Him.

2. Be the Isaac. Sometimes the trouble comes from neglecting to obey what God has clearly instructed.


Sometimes the trouble is our unwillingness to lay our life on the altar.Tweet this


The surprises in our life will often require us to lay down our idea of what a job, a relationship, a calling, a life should look like. Isaac was old enough to know something was up. He asks, “Behold, the fire and the wood, but where is the lamb for a burnt offering?” Abraham said, “God will provide for himself the lamb for a burnt offering, my son.” So they went both of them together. When they came to the place of which God had told him, Abraham built the altar there and laid the wood in order and bound Isaac his son and laid him on the altar, on top of the wood (Genesis 22:7-9). There is no evidence that Isaac questioned or resisted.

They went, both of them together, obediently, sacrificially, laying down everything for a holy God. “ So here’s what I want you to do, God helping you: Take your everyday, ordinary life—your sleeping, eating, going-to-work, and walking-around life—and place it before God as an offering” (Romans 12:1 MSG)

What are you surprised by today?

Is it a job that hasn’t turned out quite how you had hoped? Are you surprised to find that the one you married has (or hasn’t) changed after all these years? Maybe it’s a dream you’ve chased since childhood that dances, always just out of reach. Has God asked you to do something that seems impossible?

God is not surprised. He has a plan. He will provide.

I’ve witnessed and experienced it time and again.

I encourage you to take the first step, or continue on, in obedience to God. Gather and use the resources He has so graciously provided. Be willing to lay down your idea, your plan, and your pride on the altar of Providence. God is directing the affairs of each and every one of us for our good and His glory.

And God is able to bless you abundantly, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work. 2 Corinthians 9:8

How has God been Jehovah-Jireh to you?

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2 Responses to When Life Throws You a Surprise Party {and you don’t like surprises}

  1. Katherine Racine January 14, 2015 at 6:35 am #

    What a beautiful reminder that we are His and He is in control. ALWAYS. Even when we try not to let him. Being a mom is tough and I thought I had it “all figured out” – I mean I’ve been doing this for 16 years now – but everyday is a new sacrifice. I’ve learned so much through the trials of the last 2 1/2 years. Pregnancy at 42, emergency delivery at 26 weeks, 4 months of daily NICU visits, PT/OT/Speech/Special Instruction every week, it’s all preparing me to let go and let God. I would never have chosen this path of my own will.

    My little miracle baby is 2 years old and just starting to pull to stand. Her disabilities have made me slow down and not take my able-bodied teenagers for granted. I’ve still got a long way to go to improve my own health and habits, but I know, God has a plan for me and for Ruthie and he will provide.

    • Stacy Averette January 14, 2015 at 7:53 am #

      Katherine, what a testimony of faith in the provision of God. Thank you so much for sharing. It’s reminded me that I take much for granted. I’d love to see you and meet your sweet family one day!