It was a simple conversation about what’s going on in our lives when my friend began relating her home owner woes. Wanting to be responsible with money, she recently tackled a DIY project. But along with the decision to use her resources wisely, this independent woman wanted the satisfaction of doing a task that some men (no men in our family, of course!) would consider beyond female capabilities. Maybe you know men like this? While they wouldn’t come right out and say that women shouldn’t or can’t execute certain jobs, an unmistakable—and in some cases, unintended—attitude of superiority seeps through. My friend expressed frustration (to be honest, “frustration” is a watered down version of her response!) when she was summarily dismissed from the appointed task because “you should just let the expert do it.”
The yet unfinished task has resulted in my friend living without certain conveniences and we laughed at her creative ways of still getting on with life while reminding us of living in truly less-than-comfortable circumstances on mission trips. One young person reported on her short term mission experience: I learned to live in the unexpected. Not just go in to it, but to live there… that is where God functions. Beyond the edges of what is feasible, into the unbelievable.
Learning to live in the unexpected—learning and living are ongoing processes. How often I fall into the trap of believing that at this age (!) I’ve already learned. Don’t ask me to learn something new or how to live. And certainly don’t ask me to live in the unexpected. I prefer a plan and one with bullet points and time table. But I wonder if my don’t-ask-me-to-learn-something-new attitude deprives me of living “where God functions…beyond the edges of what is feasible, into the unbelievable”?
The following paragraphs by Connilyn Cossette are a personal challenge with underlining my own emphasis:
Thinking back to Ancient Israel, whose experiences and choices are a mirror image of us in this modern age, when did miracles occur?
The Hebrews were protected from six of the plagues in Egypt, but only after enduring the first three along with the Egyptians.
They were rescued from the last plague, or rather the final judgment of the Death of the Firstborns, but only after slaughtering a sweet little innocent lamb that had lived in their homes for four days.
The Red Sea parted. Yes. But only when their backs were against the water and Pharaoh was breathing down their necks.
Water sprang from a crack in the rock created by Moses’ staff, but only after they endured such thirst that they were nearly willing to go back into slavery in Egypt.
Manna appeared on the ground each morning to satisfy their rumbling stomachs, but only after they were so hungry they nearly starved to death and were ready to rebel against Moses.
It certainly sounds as though “God functioned beyond the edges of what is feasible, into the unbelievable.” I wonder how many miracles I unintentionally miss because I live within the borders of what is feasible instead of venturing into the unbelievable?
*That which is accomplished easily or conveniently