God of the Unexpected

A canyon near Cape Royal, Grand Canyon National Park, Arizona
A canyon near Cape Royal, Grand Canyon National Park, Arizona

Yesterday I was talking with some friends about the sparkle in life – the things that keep life worth living, the things that energize us and give us hope.  It’s the things that give us joy when we’re sad, keep us working when we’re tired, and keep life interesting and engaging.

Sunrise through the aspens along the South Mount Elbert Trail, Colorado
Sunrise through the aspens along the South Mount Elbert Trail, Colorado

“Sparkle is movement,” I said, “Sparkle is delight and loveliness and excitement.  It’s awe and wonder; it’s discovery and newness.  God is the sparkle in my life.  He is constant delight, constant movement, constant loveliness, wonder, discovery, and excitement.  He is the unexpected “Eureka!” and the place where all things become new.”

Potash settling basin along the Potash Road, Utah
Potash settling basin along the Potash Road, Utah

God is the God of the unexpected.  He is constant – but He is also ever revealing Himself more and more.  God is steady – but He will lead you through the places where everything is shaking.  God gives promises – but the path to those promises isn’t always straightforward.  His mercies are new every morning (Lamentations 3:23).  He is the infinite creative with ever-new ways for us to experience Him.

Sunrise from the Cloud Cap Inn, Mount Hood National Forest, Oregon
Sunrise from the Cloud Cap Inn, Mount Hood National Forest, Oregon

Jesus said, ““Behold I make all things new.”  Then He said, “Write this down, for these words are faithful and true.”” (Revelation 21:5).  We tend to think of this in terms of salvation – God makes us new creations – or in the realm of very large messes in our lives.  But it’s so much more than that.

Fresh snow on Mt. Wilbur, Glacier National Park, Montana
Fresh snow on Mt. Wilbur from the Swiftcurrent Lookout, Glacier National Park, Montana

When God comes, every time He makes things new.  He’s the sparkle that gives us hope; the unexpected that rekindles awe and wonder in us.  He literally comes, every time He comes, and makes all things new.  It doesn’t matter that it’s the same old job.  It doesn’t matter that you’re washing the dishes – again.  It doesn’t matter that nothing around you has changed.  He came.  And that changed everything

Darwin Falls, Death Valley National Park, California
Darwin Falls, Death Valley National Park, California

We don’t have to hold onto the sparkle of Who Jesus is.  We can shut down the awe and wonder, become distracted or anesthetized to Him and what He does.  Last week I posted about how anything not connected to Jesus has the potential to become an idol.  But this is also true: Anything not connected to Jesus loses its sparkle.

Showy Goldeneye on the Teton Shelf Trail, Jedediah Smith Wilderness, Wyoming
Showy Goldeneye on the Teton Shelf Trail, Jedediah Smith Wilderness, Wyoming

You can obey God – and still not keep the sparkle alive.  You can follow God – and still not have the sparkle.  Yes, there are seasons of patient waiting; of going forward though you don’t see why.  But it’s Jesus that makes the sparkle happen.  Patient waiting is more fun when we’re attentive to His loveliness.  Slogging along is more rewarding when we are connected to His delight in us.  I’m not saying it’s all fun and games.  I’ve lived life long enough to know better than that.

Rapids on the Niagara River, Whirlpool State Park, New York
Rapids on the Niagara River, Whirlpool State Park, New York

Pursue God, and you will gain the sparkle of life.  Allow Him to be the God of the unexpected, and you never know what amazing things He will reveal in Himself to and for you.