Speaking of Life 2034 | When You Least Expect It
You’ve probably heard the saying, “Expect it when you least expect it.” People sometimes say this when they’re talking about romance or maybe some sort of financial blessing. It’s like they’re saying that when we stop looking for something or stop trying to control a particular outcome, the situation resolves itself. Maybe you’ve found this to be true in your own experience.
You might find it interesting that the Bible records experiences of people who found this to be true about God. In the Old Testament, we read the story of Jacob and his brother Esau. When Isaac, their father, was old and dying, he wanted to give his special blessing to his firstborn, Esau. But the younger son, Jacob, disguised himself as Esau and tricked their dying father into blessing him instead.
As you might imagine, this created a big conflict between Esau and Jacob. In fact, Esau said he was going to kill Jacob, so their mother Rebekah sent Jacob away to hide out at her brother’s house. On his way there, Jacob stopped for the night. He used a stone for a pillow, and that night, he had an incredible dream where God said he would bless him lavishly. Here’s what Jacob said after the dream:
Surely the Lord is in this place, and I wasn’t even aware of it!” But he was also afraid and said, “What an awesome place this is! It is none other than the house of God, the very gateway to heaven!” The next morning Jacob got up very early. He took the stone he had rested his head against, and he set it upright as a memorial pillar. Then he poured olive oil over it.
Genesis 28:16-18 (NLT)
Jacob wasn’t expecting to meet God in a dream, especially when he had lied and tricked his brother out of the traditional firstborn blessing. Yet God showed up when Jacob least expected it. Jacob’s response was fear, OK, he might have been feeling a little guilty about what he did, but he took that stone and created a memorial pillar. He poured oil on it as an offering because he wanted to remember that God showed up when he least expected it, and according to some, when he least deserved it.
If we think about it, we can probably come up with a few times when God showed up for us. It may have been a much-needed or wanted blessing, or it may have been simply a special sense of God’s presence. If we follow Jacob’s example, we can memorialize these times in our minds to help us remember how God showed up when we least expected it. These memories can encourage us and others when we encounter difficulties again.
How has God shown up for you when you least expected it?
May you consider those memories today and share them with friends who could use some encouragement.
I’m Heber Ticas, Speaking of Life.