God of surprises.

Personal experience has always been an important criteria for discerning and evaluating new situations. For us, living in a post-modern culture, these seems to be even much more so. Personal experience might not have been the only and more important criteria. But for us, at the beginning of the Third Millennium, when we have lost the precious value of the word, and of the Word; when we have rendered all authority relative; when we have ironically absolutised subjectivism; we are left with only personal experience as the only criteria for discernment.

Therefore we should expect that, what happened to people like the Prophet Elijah and the disciples of Jesus, happens also to us.

The Prophet Elijah challenged the four hundred and fifty false prophets of the evil Queen and he experienced the omnipotence of God, who sent fire from heaven to burn the wet bullock on the altar. This was his personal experience. But when he had to escape the wroth of the Queen and God came to reassure him, he was surprised that he did not find God neither in the vehement wind that rent the mountains and broke the rocks, nor in the earthquake, nor in the fire, but in a gentle breeze.

As for the disciples of Jesus, they had quite a different experience. They left everything they had to follow Jesus, to be with Him. They could not as yet understand Whom they were following, but they could sense that God was especially present in Jesus and working through Him. They witnessed so many miracles and wonders performed by Jesus to the awe of all. Jesus made God so accessible to them, they felt they could touch God in Him. This was their personal experience: God is with us, like one of us. But when they were alone on the boat rocking in the midst of high waves, and saw Jesus approaching them walking on the sea, they were so surprised that they thought they were getting an appearance of some ghost.

God is a God of surprises. Yes, because no one or more experiences can comprise all that God is and can be.

If personal experience is what we understand, that is the channel He uses to initiate communication to us. However, He resists our temptation to miss Him with our personal experience. He is true to Himself, and is always keen not to let us absolutise our personal experience and at the same time relativise Him!

God is God. He can never be held or contained. He is unpredictable. If it was not so, than we would be calling “God” someone who does not deserve that name, or else, someone else would be God.

To have faith in God is to enjoy every personal experience of Him, without loosing the sense of search and expectancy of the Unknown. To have faith in God is feel the assurance of your personal experience, without loosing the wonder of being taken by surprise. To have faith in God is to know how to discern His presence in mighty and extraordinary deeds and events of history, as well as in the most normal, simple and daily little things. To have faith in God is always to expect the unexpected.

To be a man of little faith is to obey the Word of God and make a step forward out of the security of the boat into the deep and than turn your attention to your past experience! Sometimes, a personal experience of God can turn out to be an obstacle to newer, deeper and more realistic experience of God. To have faith in God is to succeed in jumping the hurdle of personal experience, no matter how true, valid and good that might have been.

3 Responses to “God of surprises.”

  1. Sr Gemma Farrugia says:

    I fully agree to all you say about the personal experience. Faith is the most essential and necessary element in our relationship with God. We must reach the point of “no return ” trust Him completely , in all and in spite of all and He will do wonders. The poorer the instrument the greater His Work . Jesus is still working in us and through us if we allow Him. God bless.

  2. Bernardette Decelis says:

    To have faith In God is expecting surprises yes. But Sometimes I think I have little faith when everything around me seems to be falling apart, yet at other times I think my faith strengthens as I go through experiences where I can see God doing wonders, Now more than before I try to continue my journey, without hesitating, and see what happens next. I am learning to take everything from God’s hands even though we make obstacles and think our plans are better than what he has planned for us, we are living in a material world, and what we feel and see is very important,and yet this reminds me that it was faith that has brought me all the way here, it is by faith that my family is still striving, it is by faith that I don’t give up. Faith and hope in God that works in ways we cannot see, he never sleeps. He is concerned, cause all he thinks of is our well being. Through the community I have learned a lot, and still I have a lot to learn. ” At all times carry faith as a shield; for with it you will be able to put out all the burning arrows shot by the Evil One.” (Eph 6;16)

  3. You know i have always said to fellow Christians that you cant put God in a box because He is God and unpredictable. This year God has done a big surprise in my life as he brought in supernatural help to me. I was so inspired as I stumbled on this article thanks and God bless you father

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