Speaking outside our expectations

We were sat in the pub, enjoying each other, the five of us. Drinks in hand, packets of crisps opened up on the table for all to share, chatter and laughter spilling out of our mouths, friendship overflowing from our hearts. He started speaking quietly at first, just to the person next to him, but slowly we all leaned in to listen and louder he recounted the stories he had just heard and watched earlier that evening. He was excited by what he was telling and we were captured, some with loud exclamations of awe, and others silently staring, trying to process. He continued, story after story, before each one promising it was the last, but unable to help himself sharing another.

 

He had watched these stories, a DVD to come, online, it’s streaming for just three days he told us, tonight was the last opportunity to catch it. My housemate and I looked at each other, let’s go home and watch it tonight. She was excited by what he had recounted, I was intrigued. Another asked if he could join us, we welcomed him. We extended the invitation to the others, one had to return home, but the other, the story teller was eager to watch again.

 

So we gathered, in our living room, laptop hooked up to speakers and a monitor, drinks and food spread out. We sat curled up on comfy sofas, blankets ready for when the night air set in, anticipating what we were about to watch. There was an air of excitement from the others, but I was a little reserved. I expected one of two things, either to be bowled over by how amazing these stories were, or to be filled with total skepticism, and I knew I was heading toward skepticism. It’s not that I don’t believe these things can be true, it’s more that I wasn’t sure if I would agree with their method for sharing them, and I wasn’t sure how genuine the stories would really be. I was eager to watch all the same, and I was ready to be stunned and amazed.

 

I sat ready to be challenged, expecting to be challenged. Expecting to be encouraged that God is able, and God is willing, and God still moves in power today, and that there is purpose and power in loving. Expecting also to be challenged, challenged to be bolder, to be more courageous, challenged to be more expectant, to have more faith.

 

When the film came to an end, I was stunned, for I had been encouraged, and I had been challenged. But not at all in the ways that I had hoped or expected. God had spoken to my heart, and I felt convicted, and stirred. It had produced emotions in me that I didn’t expect. We expressed our enjoyment and amazement to each other and as they left our house and I settled down to sleep, my heart felt full, and my mind was spinning.

 

Again God had spoken unexpectedly, about unexpected things, in an unexpected way. I was reminded that He will speak what needs to be spoken, when He wills, and He will not be contained in our box, or within our predictions. Oh how often He takes me by surprise the things he whispers to me, conversations I’m not anticipating having.

 

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