Expecting the Unexpected

We do not always get what we want BUT…. God ALWAYS provides us with what we need. #resolvedfaith #prayer

I learned this lesson when I got my rescue dog, Lia seven years ago.  I had wanted to get a dog once I was in my own house. I had done the research into what breed was the best one for my life.  After hours of research I found Boston Terrier was the breed for me. They are smaller. Friendly, active, can get plenty of exercise indoors during the long, cold Minnesota winters. 

So the next step was to connect with a rescue group & adopt my forever pup. Into the search box goes “Boston Terrier” and out comes some pictures of really cute dogs.

As I was scrolling through the available dogs I stopped on a picture of a black dog with big ears and an odd looking pink bow.  She was not the cutest picture in the lot but there was something in her eyes.  I knew I needed to meet this puppy.

The thing is she was a Black Lab/Corgi mix.  Nothing like a Boston Terrier.  But I needed to meet this dog in person.

We set up a home visit with her foster parents for the following week. This non-photogenic dog arrived at my house and has never left.  From the moment she entered the house she was at home.  While we talked with her foster mom this pup wondered around the house as if she lived here. 

Lia and I have been best friends for over 7 years now. She does a little dance each time I come home whether I have been gone for an hour or a week.  She is so happy that I’m back with her.

She hangs out with me while I’m working at home (albeit most of the time she’s snoring or sleep barking). When I am able she’s always up to go on an adventure with me.

I may have thought I wanted a smaller breed of dog but what I needed was this furry best friend.  I cannot imagine exploring life without her.

As we journey along with Jesus we pray for many things.  Some of which we think we want something specific because from our perspective it’s the best thing.  What we don’t always consider is what God knows what is best for us. 

God knew that what I truly needed was a best friend to go on adventures together. Sure, a Boston Terrier would probably do the same but Lia was the friend God knew I needed.  

As you pray go ahead and pray for what you want but also continue to pray for the open heart to receive what God knows you need. Be receptive to the unexpected gifts God has in store for you. You know it is exactly what you need even if you may not know it at the time. 

Well, my unexpected best friend and I are going to go out on an adventure before it gets too cold.

You Are Not Alone: Acts 12

“But while Peter was in prison, the church prayed very earnestly for him.”

Acts 12:5

Have you watched the reality show Alone on the History Channel? Its premise is simple – place 10 individuals in the wilderness to survive on his/her own & see who lasts the longest.  They are completely cut off from all civilization & humanity. After 7 seasons the longest someone has remained alone is 100 days in the Arctic.

Each contestant is completely alone.  There is no camera crew to capture the footage for them. They film everything themselves.  About once a week they receive medical check-ups but otherwise they see no other human being.  Most contestants reflect on the loved ones they miss and wanting to get back to them.  Some tap out because they simply want to be with their loved ones. All contestants process what it means to be alone and how difficult it is to thrive completely alone.

During our study through Acts we see in each chapter how God does not have the apostles or followers be on his/her own.  God sends out the apostles at least in pairs, like Paul & Barnabas.  We read continually how the followers gathered together almost daily to share life together.  They live in community ensuring that no one felt alone.  

This week’s chapter we read how Peter got in trouble again for preaching the Good News of Jesus Christ.  He was arrested by the Israelite king, Herod and thrown into jail.  He awaited his trial when the Holy Spirit intervened to release him from jail and return him to the believers. (I love how Rhoda was so surprised she kept the door closed on Peter. Check it out.)

Peter may have been arrested but he was not alone.  The believers showed how they we were with him in spirit when they prayed earnestly for him.  They would not forget their brother Peter.  They loved him in words and actions.  They lifted him up in prayer to plead with God for Peter’s safekeeping while he was in jail.

As we continue in this pandemic we can feel alone ourselves.  We are not able to spend time with family and friends as we are accustomed to being together. We video chat with each other but it’s not the same. Perhaps we are experiencing our own season of Alone right now. 

Hear this: You are not alone.  As a follower of Jesus Christ you belong to the family of God.  We are connected to one another when we worship God.  We lift up one another in prayer trusting one another into God’s care. 

If you feel alone reach out to a friend.  Connect with a small group to share life together.  Pray to God to bring you comfort.  You can leave a message on any of our social media accounts to connect. 

As you study this chapter read how God was present with Peter in jail.  Note how Peter was followed the angel when he was woken up in the middle of the night.  Model the prayers of the followers when they were at Mary’s house.  

May you go about your day, your week remembering you are not alone.  You belong to God.  You belong to God’s family.  Be connected with the followers of Jesus through prayer, worship, fellowship via Zoom. 

This Week’s Challenge

Complete this sentence: When I feel alone I will reach out to________________  by ______________________.