– C.S. Lewis
Didn’t Deserve It
The very first surprise we find is the most important one. God sends His Spirit to convict us of our sins and we run to the cross for mercy. There, God saves us when we truly don’t deserve it. We lost what we thought was good, like the things of this world, however all of that is going to pass away and only those who trust in Christ will abide with Him in the kingdom and have life everlasting. What appeared to be a blessing (the world, the lust, and the possessions) was replaced by something of infinite value (John 3:16).
Didn’t See It
When I hear people say, “I found God,” like I did at one time, I stop back to think that it was really God Who went out of His way to save us, and that was through the Father’s calling (John 6:44) and the redemptive work of Christ on the cross. Before, I was blind, but now, I can finally see; but not because of me! The inheritance of this world that I thought was good, like the Prodigal Sons, was nothing more than a pig pen. Thankfully, we can run to the Father and ask His forgiveness. Perhaps we have already done so, and the Father said of us, “’For this my son was dead, and is alive again; he was lost, and is found.’ And they began to celebrate” (Luke 15:24). Only later did I discover that God wasn’t missing, so I didn’t find Him. In fact, Jesus told His disciples, “You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you that you should go and bear fruit and that your fruit should abide” (John1 5:16a).
Didn’t Mind It
I remember a man telling me that he can feel God’s pleasure when he chooses to obey rather than sin. He describes it like an adrenaline rush and I think I know what he means. There is something satisfying in living a life that is pleasing to God. Not only will God bless that person’s life, He will be well pleased with them, and we know that Jesus always lived to please the Father. That should be our will too, and so we shouldn’t mind denying ourselves the pleasures of sin to please Him. I must admit, that caught me by surprise.
Didn’t Expect It
As we were all prodigals at one time, we might tend to think like the Prodigal Son did. He had no right to be the father’s son anymore, which was true, so he just accepted the fact that he’d be one of his father’s servants; if the father would allow that. You know what happened. When the Prodigal “was still a long way off, his father saw him and felt compassion, and ran and embraced him and kissed him” (Luke 15:2). The Prodigal thought he might at least have the blessing of food and shelter, being a servant, but the Prodigal’s father received him as His own son. He surely didn’t expect that…but, neither did I.
C.S. Lewis is wise in saying, “When we lose one blessing, another is often most unexpectedly given in its place,” and the Bible shows that this is true. For example, God pours out His mercy like rain when we certainly didn’t deserve it; God gives us eyes to see so that we are not blind anymore; God gives us satisfaction in living in obedience for Him; and what God gives us, we surely didn’t expect (John 3:16). We couldn’t have even known Jesus without His opening our eyes to see the Light of the World (John 8:12).