I walked onto the rough paddy field finding it was hard to imagine that this was once only a dream. Almost seven years ago, I made my first trip to Manipur. In this eastern Indian state's capital city, I rediscovered a childhood friend. Our youthful hair had changed with wisdom, even as we struggled to know what to do in most circumstances. Our thin wiry bodies of those days long ago had given way to a natural softness that only comes with time. Yet, I knew as I looked into his eyes that the fired remained. He cared about things that make a difference in the lives of his community. He cared about people, especially children.
I did not anticipate the resistance that followed. I failed to anticipate how long the struggle would take. I underestimated the cost to the lives of those that cared about the dream. Among the things I did not expect, the greatest surprise was the outcome that came out of the dream! I never imagined that the dream of a school would result in an ideal land site. I never imagined that the quality of the construction would be a model for future buildings. Candidly, I did not expect the unexpected.
Many before me have made the same mistake. It is natural to be surprised by the unexpected outcome when God is involved. “Parthians, Medes, and Elamites; Visitors from Mesopotamia, Judea, and Cappadocia, Pontus and Asia, Phrygia and Pamphylia, Egypt and the parts of Libya belonging to Cyrene; Immigrants from Rome, both Jews and proselytes; Even Cretans and Arabs!_ 'They're speaking our languages, describing God's mighty works!'” (Acts 2.10, 11) Go figure, God knows how to communicate to any and everyone.
Today there will be challenges that appear insurmountable. With this dawn, the unexpected can overwhelm the strong, determined, and powerful. In the coming light, the pain and uncertainty will continue to drag those unable to stand against the tide. This is our day. In the midst of it all, God gives the unexpected. Be aware. God is on the move.
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