I've been thinking about surprises...

Psalm 23:1 Part 1

The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want.
Psalm 23:1 (ESV)

Walking by faith is not for the faint of heart. Have you noticed that you need more than a handful of principles, strategies and tips to live in the story that God is telling? In his book, Waking the Dead, John Eldridge suggests that we need a divine relationship to guide us:

There are too many twists and turns in the road ahead, too many ambushes waiting God knows where, too much at stake. You cannot possibly prepare yourself for every situation. Narrow is the way, said Jesus. How shall we be sure to find it? We need God intimately, and we need him desperately!

How will I know if I am living the life that John Eldridge describes? One very clear result will be surprises I could not think up—even dream up—on my own. Let me explain:

I married a pastor when I was 21 years old! Total surprise!
We moved to Arizona in 1981! Never imagined that!
I led worship in women’s ministries at SBC for a couple of years. I hate being the center of attention!
I worked for the University of Arizona medical school—Phoenix Programs—for 5 years. I am a high school graduate who owes much thanks to the Iowa Test of Basic Skills for a top notch education!
I started and maintained a non-profit mentoring ministry for 10 years. The bills were always paid!
I wrote a 250 page mentoring workbook called SoulWork. Who knew I had collected so much helpful survival material! Amazing!

Looking back, I can see how God accomplished His will for me—in spite of me. Does this sound familiar? It should, because Proverbs 16:9 says I can plan my way but the Lord, my shepherd, will establish my steps.

And what about the want issue? When a monkey wrench is tossed into my plans, I fall into discouragement. Thankfully, that’s when God surprises me and guides me toward what I want MOST—living a life of purpose and significance without regret! Be encouraged, friend, God is engaged in 2018! Better yet—be surprised!