Prayer for the day
I cry out to you, O LORD; I say, “You are my refuge, my portion in the land of the living.”
Scripture for the day
In most movies and even in some books, you’ll hear the phrase “expect the unexpected.” This has to be one of the most ridiculous phrases you can hear. How can one expect the unexpected? It’s UNEXPECTED! It’s impossible to expect that which cannot be expected.
It is, however, extremely important to prepare.
In the story of Nehemiah today, the troops/builders in Israel understand that the work they’re doing to rebuild the wall around their city is not appreciated by the people of surrounding nations. It is seen as both a threatening and a subversive endeavour, and so the people outside the wall are angry.
In order to combat this anger, the people of Israel engage in a sort of “fortress mentality” approach, making sure that everyone who is working is guarded by someone who is holding a weapon. Even those who are called to carry materials back and forth do so with the material in one hand and a weapon in the other. They are prepared, even as they are otherwise engaged, for what is possible.
The story of Acts is similar. No, the disciples weren’t facing the threat of invasion. No, they weren’t rebuilding the wall. What they were doing was experiencing the start of a new movement of God. And in that experience they could not PLAN for it, but they could certainly prepare. We notice right away that the disciples don’t plan for a certain number of converts, but that a certain number are added to their number daily. Instead of planning for what is to come, the disciples prepare. They prepare themselves in prayer, in the creation of structures of community that will serve them well as God adds to their number.
We would do well to worry less about planning for the unexpected and more about preparing for the move of God!