Have you ever had a day that you had planned out ahead of time and have something surprising happen? It could have been a good surprise – an unexpected check in the mail, a surprise visit of a friend or family member, etc. Or it could have been a bad surprise – a fender bender, a trip to the ER, or a major appliance breakdown. The bottom line is that surprises are intricately woven into our lives and that’s the way it is!
The element of surprise has been a military strategy since the beginning of warfare. It could be an air strike in the middle of the night. It could be an example of a “Trojan Horse” maneuver. The goal of the element of surprise to catch your enemy unaware of what you are doing, thereby gaining the upper hand in the battle, perhaps even winning the war.
God uses the element of surprise in our daily lives, but with a different twist on it. Whatever He sends your way, He gives you the strength and ability to receive the surprise through His amazing grace and mercy. He delights in our joy of great surprises and He enables us to bear the bad surprises. His grace is sufficient for any surprise in each of our lives.
In the arena of spiritual warfare, God also uses the element of surprise on our physical enemies as well as the enemies of our soul. In 2 Kings 6:8-23 (NASB). the enemy king of Aram was warring against the king of Israel. He knew that the prophet Elisha knew where the king of Israel was staying, so he sent his army to capture him. Elisha’s servant saw the huge army of the King Aram circling the city of Dothan (where Elisha lived) and was greatly alarmed. As he told the news to Elisha, the prophet prayed that the Lord would open his servant’s eyes that he could see into the spiritual realm. Then, his servant beheld many horses and chariots of fire on top of the encircling mountains. What a wonderful surprise that must have been to Elisha’s servant! Then the Lord struck the army of the king of Aram with blindness and Elisha led them to Samaria, where the Lord took their blindness away. When the commander of the army asked Elisha if they should kill the inhabitants of that city, Elisha told them to feed them and let them go. And the army of the king of Aram did not come again into the land of Israel. God works in mysterious ways!
Only God’s amazing love and tender mercies can remove our spiritual blindness, our fears and our doubts! We may not understand what is happening or why it is happening at the time; however, the Apostle Paul assures us that “. . . God causes all things to work together to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose . . .” and “. . . If God is for us, who is against us?” Romans 8:28, 31 (NASB).