Expecting the Unexpected

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I first learned about the rule to “Expect the unexpected” from Dave Ramsey. Like a lot of his advice, it is simple but brilliant. I’ve found this same principle very applicable when it comes to my infinitely creative and all-wise Heavenly Father. Because He cannot lie, His promises are sure. I can expect Him to provide but how He goes about providing… is often how I’d least expect it!

Take last week for example…

I have been aware for some time of a growing need I have had to upgrade my laptop (it is almost 6 years old, the battery is on its last leg and my hard drive is perpetually close to its maximum capacity). A couple of weeks ago I took my laptop into the Apple repair shop (Core Help), to get an estimate for a new battery and a bigger hard drive. The quote was $450. Since then, I have been waiting to see how the Lord would provide.

About a week later, I was at home sitting in the kitchen doing some work on my laptop when there was a knock at the front door. It was the neighbor from across the street. “Hi there. I have lived in the house across the street for many years and have pulled out of my driveway a million times. There are often cars parked on the street where your car is but… well… I just backed into your car…”

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I walked out to survey the damage Alden had incurred. The neighbor’s truck had given Alden a little “love tap”  which hit him squarely on the corner of his bumper. It left behind a small, perfectly placed indentation on the bumper with no visible damage to the tail lights or anywhere else. We exchanged information and later that afternoon I received a call from the neighbor’s insurance company giving me the information I needed to set up an appointment at a local auto body shop where I could get an estimate on the cost of the damage.

A few days later Alden and I were at the shop and within the hour they were submitting the estimate to the insurance company. Two days after that, a letter in the mail came confirming the insurance company had received and approved the estimate. A day later the check came in the mail. And the total? $671.36.

Alden is 14 years old and while his new battle scar is a small eyesore, it doesn’t make a lot of sense to me to spend the money to repair such a cosmetic deformity on an aging car like Alden. I will be giving $100 to my dad who paid for Alden’s registration last December while I was still in Sicily and the rest will be more than enough to refurbish my aging laptop and give Alden a full tank of gas. And maybe a car wash. I think he deserves at least that much for taking one for the team!

Am I surprised this happened? Well.. yes and no. I certainly couldn’t have anticipated Alden’s role in paying for my laptop’s upgrade. I was however, expecting the Lord to provide in His typical, creative and unsuspecting way. As always, He didn’t let me down.

His timing is perfect. His grace, extravagant. His provision, abundant.

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Epilogue: As it turns out, the money wasn’t for upgrading my laptop but paying for some dental work. I realized this about a week after I received the insurance payment which was right around the time I also realized my dental cleaning, x-rays and other work I had done recently were not covered by my health benefits plan. Alden’s new dimple on his bumper was actually to cover the unexpected dental costs— though they were only unexpected to me, the Lord saw them coming a millennium ago! I love that nothing is unexpected for Him who knows the end from the beginning!

“Man plans his course but the Lord determines him steps.”

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