Surprises tend to be challenging for most people.
Granted, there are good surprises, but in today’s culture, it seems that most of us don’t want to be surprised. We want to know what’s going to happen and we want to know as soon as possible, well in advance if we can.
I’m sure that the followers of Jesus Christ were quite surprised to find that He was not in the tomb where he had been buried, that He had returned from the dead.
Everyone was in a state of disbelief, shock, and still grieving from having watched Jesus tortured, mocked and then killed in a most horrific way. What in the world did God have in mind, and why did all of these events matriculate this way?
One message God was likely sending is that we just have to learn to live with some surprises.
As much as we try, we simply cannot know and control everything. We cannot completely comprehend God and God’s ways. We cannot know when every event will occur in this world.
For instance, God and the Bible affirm that one day Jesus Christ will in fact return to earth. That much we know. Now, when exactly will that take place? We don’t know. Perhaps, too, we will never be able to completely figure out how far space really does go, or where exactly heaven is located, or other questions we may have about God.
But lacking those answers should not prevent us from living the beautiful life that God has blessed us with.
We are in for a lot of surprises when we bring Christ into our life. Sometimes the unthinkable and unimaginable happens. Perhaps we became friends with a person who we would have ignored before we knew Christ. Maybe we become more inclined to help someone who is in desperate need. Or maybe, just maybe, our hearts began to grow a little softer and make room for more loving compassion towards others. Or, maybe we stumble upon a community or a group of angels when we were at our most desperate need for them.
We may be surprised at just how involved God is in our lives. Even if we fail to find or see God, fear not, God is still capable of finding us. And that, my brothers and sisters, is how everyone can have hope in life eternal and the resurrection.
When the time comes for our own startling and joyful resurrection, I am sure all of us will be surprised. I am certain that it will be nothing like what we expect, nor like anything that we could have ever imagined. I would venture to guess that it will be more breathtaking, more mind-blowing and more awe-inspiring than the greatest thing our minds can conjure up.
No matter how much searching, praying, reading, researching, thought, and study we put into trying to figure out exactly how these gifts of the resurrection and promise of eternal life really work, I am afraid we will have to be surprised. We aren’t going to know until it happens, until the day when God will look us in the eye, place His hand on our shoulder and say, “Surprise!”