Thursday, August 31, 2023

Embracing the Unexpected


By: Donna Bucher

Depending on your definition of "unexpected", your view of unexpected things may hold delight in the surprise of an unplanned occurrence, dread at the implications of the unforeseen or annoyance at the presumed interruption.

But what if instead of fleeing from unanticipated occurrences we actually choose looking for the unexpected?


The unexpected happens every day. Whether we see it or not depends not only on if we look for it, but if we welcome it. Sometimes the unexpected results in seeing something we pass every day, but never noticed before.


I encountered this phenomenon recently while walking at a nearby park with my 10-month-old puppy, Shalom. In an effort to distract her from running after the ducks, I picked a few clover flowers, luring her back for a peek.

While squatting down to show them to her, we both "sniffed" them, and behold, they sported a lovely light fragrance I had forgotten from my childhood. Excited with this new find, Shalom began looking at the clover flowers growing in the grass at her feet, when our second unexpected discovery met us: bees.

I marveled as she delicately attempted sniffing each one, never once becoming frustrated as they flew off.


Then at times the unexpected comes with a much-needed blessing. I rarely request prayer for myself and almost never pray for myself. As self-focused as I tend towards at times, I admit the strangeness of this behavior.

But God extends His graciousness to me in so many ways, and the Spirit prays for us when we know not what to pray. To that end, I received an unexpected blessing from a friend who texted me God prompted her to intercede on my behalf.

Is the unexpected ever so sweet as when it proffers a blessing?


Looking for the unexpected treasure in the unpleasant events we did not anticipate proves more difficult. But truthfully, even the unpleasant, unexpected offers treasure, but of course you require eyes of faith to find it.

A recent turn of events at work presented me with handling a sensitive situation with a young woman whose husband was dying. On the downside it proved complicated, ugly, challenging and heart wrenching. On the upside, I learned I can do hard things chosen for me by God, He remains with me in the unexpected as well as the everyday normal, and the unexpected never surprises Him.

By facing the unexpected situation, with an attitude of curiosity, looking for what God had for me, I learned compassion sometimes means listening to another's pain through hurtful words.

More valuable still, was watching God pour His healing love out of the wounds I accepted walking in the hard places with another broken heart.


Looking for the unexpected throughout your days provides another way of welcoming God into your days. Whether He steps in with a revelation of Himself from creation, reminding you of His awesome Presence everywhere, or sends you an intimate reminder of His love for you, the unexpected speaks His name.

The next time the unexpected presses into your day, sit up and take notice, a God moment sits on the precipice. If you look with a view of finding Him, even in the unexpected hard, the treasure of transformation awaits you. God does His best work in the unexpected places.



When was the last time you embraced the unexpected?

How can you remain more open to the unexpected moments of your day?

Find more encouragement and FREE Resources at Serenity in Suffering!


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  1. Donna, once again your post resonated with me. Earlier this morning, I read Ephesians 5:1-2 in The Message: "Watch what God does, and then you do it ..." It made me begin to think about how I want to see where God is at work and join Him there. I then read this quote by Francis Chan: "God, interrupt whatever we are doing so that we can join in what You're doing." May we take notice in those unexpected times as it may just be where He does His best work in our lives! Blessings!

  2. Thank you, Joanne, welcoming God through the unexpected can bring such Joy! I find He often steps into my day in ways I never expected!


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