Daily Step – May God surprise you.

Sometimes God can surprise you with an unexpected but beautiful response to even your most fervent prayers.

As I lay in bed this morning, I realized my list of things to ask God for has grown quite a bit lately.

It seems each day brings a new person or situation that needs a prominent spot in my prayer list. This morning, I imagined as I ticked off request after request that God might just be placing hand on head and thinking “Come on, now, Gretchen… there’s a whole world hurting. You’ve got to give me a break!” Why not? It’s what I would think if someone brought this list to me!

Of course, God is infinitely better than me and so I don’t really think God can’t handle my list. God’s love is more expansive than a whole world of requests. Still I imagine God’s distress because that’s how I feel just holding onto my list right now. It feels too long and weighty.

As I named my prayer intentions to God this morning, however, I heard this prayer in my heart from St Teresa of Avila:

Let nothing disturb you,

Let nothing frighten you,

All things are passing away:

God never changes.

Patience obtains all things

Whoever has God lacks nothing;

God alone suffices.

Let nothing disturb you – I felt the invitation to let go of some of the anxiety attached to my list – even though God knew I might hold on tight anyway. 

And I did. Of course I did. In fact, I was lost in my own anxious thoughts the rest of the morning. But then, right before I dropped my boys off to school, my youngest twin said loud enough to jolt me: “I did it! I finally lost my tooth!” He grinned at me like he won the whole world. This child has had a wobbly tooth since November. Though not at all an item on my list – the joy of that moment for him was an unexpected response to prayer. 

Let nothing disturb you so your heart can be open to celebrate the simple surprises that come your way.

My prayer for you today is that you may be surprised by something that reminds you God is always at work, even when you don’t understand God’s movements and even when the list of prayer requests seems insurmountable. 

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