Each one, as a good manager of God's different gifts, must use for the good of others the special gift he has received from God. (1 Peter 4:10)

In Unexpected Ways

The Old Testament reading for today, the Memorial of St. Lucy, is a study in contrasts and a beautiful expose’ of how God changes things in unexpected ways to bring about His will. From Isaiah, Ch. 41:

The afflicted and the needy seek water in vain,
their tongues are parched with thirst.
I, the LORD, will answer them;
I, the God of Israel, will not forsake them.
I will open up rivers on the bare heights,
and fountains in the broad valleys;
I will turn the desert into a marshland,
and the dry ground into springs of water.
I will plant in the desert the cedar,
acacia, myrtle, and olive;
I will set in the wasteland the cypress,
together with the plane tree and the pine,
That all may see and know,
observe and understand,
That the hand of the LORD has done this,
the Holy One of Israel has created it. (vss. 17-20)

See how the Lord first reminds us that He keeps His promises. And then He goes beyond merely keeping promises. He is going to turn things upside down! He is going to quench His people’s thirst by putting rivers and fountains where they are least expected. He will change deserts and wastelands into forests of trees. He will go so far beyond merely quenching their thirst that there can be no doubt — no doubt whatsoever! — Who has done these wonderful things.

In this powerful and beautiful explosion of profound change, God is telling us that He wants to bring about the same kind of unexpected transformation in our own lives. He wants to fulfill His promises in us in a way that can leave no doubt as to Whose work is being done.

If we let Him, He will change us in visible, obvious ways — profound ways that are themselves the fulfillment of His promises. We will not be parched and afflicted. We will not seeking water in vain. Rather, we will be the refreshing water found in unexpected places. We will be the strong tree growing where no one expected to find a tree. We will be living witnesses to the One Who has worked such wonders.

But for our witness to be credible, for us to be poured out in service, we must be both open to the kind of change God wants to create in us and open to letting others see it.

Father God, let us be so filled with grace that we yield willingly to your love and carry it with us into the world each day. Show us, through the workings of Your Holy Spirit, how to find You in the unexpected moments of each day and how to change in the unexpected ways to which You call us. Let us, by the redemptive power of Your Son, Jesus, be bold in our willingness to be changed. And let Your refreshing Word flow through us like water to quench the thirst of all those we encounter this day. Amen.

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