Unscripted and Unexpected Resurrection

Since I usually write these devotions a day early, I'm writing this particular devo on my birthday (which was yesterday, for the record).  I'm really not mentioning this in order to elicit a few more birthday well-wishes... much.  

It's just that it has been wonderful to hear from so many people from all of the various seasons of my life the way I have today.  I have messages from childhood friends, high school buddies, work friends from all of the various places I've worked, members and friends from all of the churches I've served...  

It's humbling, and gratifying and amazing.  It's also kind of crazy to think about where I find myself at this stage of my life.  And when I look back on all of the places I've been, the challenges I've faced, the struggles, doubts, triumphs and joys that I've experienced... I do so with no small amount of wonder.  

You see, when I was fifteen, I stopped believing in the God I'd been taught to believe in.  When I found my way back to faith eight years later, I thought I was as well-grounded as a person could get, and would never lose it again.  

But there was a season a few years ago when I was suddenly struck with crippling doubt, and began to wonder if I would ever be able to return.  As you might imagine, for a pastor this was probably the worst kind of thing that can happen.  

I dove to the bottom of it, though.  And when I pushed off and resurfaced, I discovered I was in a different place, with a different view of faith, God, the Church and the world.  It was unexpected, but unbelievably life-giving.  

I would not have scripted my life of faith the way that I just outlined it.  I would have done so with a much easier path--one without so many twists and turns.  The other day I read a great quote from Sarah Bessey that spoke to me:  
When we try to script our own resurrections, we miss the places where God wants to surprise us with a more full, more whole expression of healing than we could ever imagine. 
So today on my birthday, I find myself reflecting on all of the amazing, unscripted and surprising resurrections I've experienced, and I'm unbelievably grateful that God knows better than I do what I need.  

If you have struggled, or are struggling through challenging seasons and you long for resurrection, renewal and restoration---know that it will come... though not as you might expect it.  God is always full of surprises, and God's sense of healing is so much more complete than anything we could dream up on our own.  

May this be true for you in your life today and every day forward.  And may the grace and peace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you now and always.  Amen.  


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