God of the Unexpected


One day Jesus said to his disciples, “let’s cross to the other side of the lake.”  So they got into a boat and started out. But soon a fierce storm came down on the lake. The boat was filling with water, and they were in real danger. When Jesus woke up, he rebuked the wind and the raging waves.  Suddenly the storm stopped and all was calm.  Then he asked them, “Where is your faith?”   

Luke 8:22-25

As humans, we usually prefer predictability in our lives. We want things to go according to our expectations and when they don’t, it makes us fearful and anxious. The truth is that we can never control or even predict what God will do. That’s the exciting adventure of following God’s leading. Jesus told his disciples to get into a boat and row through the night to the other side of the great lake. They did exactly as he instructed and almost immediately were hit by such a fierce windstorm that they were unable to make progress across the lake and were terrified that they were going to die. Finally, after all the trauma, Jesus calmed the very storm that had prevented the disciples from doing what he had told them to do! When God gives us a goal, we naturally expect God to help us succeed, not send a storm to block us. We row like mad all night, trying to get to the goal on the distant shore, wondering why we got in the boat in the first place, not ever thinking that God might meet us on the way.  Certainly, the safe choice would have been to stay back on the shore.  But following God is not always a neat and tidy achievement. It is often a humbling – even fearful – confrontation of the unexpected and the uncontrolled. Answering God’s call has to do with trusting God’s great purposes in each of our lives, knowing that we never face our challenges alone.  The ones who stayed back on the shore that night were safe, but they missed the whole exciting adventure!



You are my God, this is your work, and I know you care about my success or failure. I admit that I’m afraid you won’t do what I expect, God. Give me your peace.  AMEN.

Don’t be afraid, for I am with you. Do not be dismayed, for I am your God.  Isaiah 41:10

Francie Winslow