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JFH Devotionals by J.M. Farro

Expecting the Unexpected

"You did awesome things that we did not expect." - Isaiah 64:3 NIV

My family and I know enough about ducks to know that our female, Katie, is one in a million. We've always considered her a gift from God, and we call her our "miracle duck." So when Katie began having serious health problems, we got her regular medical care, and we took every course of action that our veterinarian recommended. When all conservative treatment failed, we were faced with our last resort, which was major surgery. The operation was risky, and the vet didn't hold out much hope for Katie's survival. A multitude of friends, relatives, and acquaintances began covering Katie in prayer day and night, as I claimed God's promises for her deliverance and healing. As the day of Katie's surgery approached, I began feeling overwhelmed by fear and doubt. As my hopes for my beloved pet's survival began to fade, I began entertaining thoughts like, "Maybe it's for the best that she doesn't make it." I turned to the Lord for His perspective in the matter, and He brought to my remembrance a Scripture that says, "You did awesome things beyond our highest expectations." (Isaiah 64:3 NLT) From then on, I claimed this promise, and I asked the Lord to not only make Katie's surgery successful, but to do something in this situation that would be totally unexpected--something that would exceed our highest hopes and expectations. When we spoke to the vet after the surgery, she told us that the operation took so long, that she thought several times that Katie wouldn't make it. She showed us a container filled with the poisonous fluids and diseased organs that she removed from Katie. And when we asked her if she'd ever seen such awful stuff inside a duck before, she replied, "None that survived." The doctor, and the rest of us, were not only amazed by the success of Katie's surgery, but by the fact that afterwards, she was doing so well, that we were able to take her home with us the very same day!

This experience taught me a lot about faith. Now when I'm faced with negative circumstances, and Satan and his cohorts are assailing me with fear and doubt, I don't stand idly by. Instead, I launch an aggressive counterattack by praying especially BIG prayers in the face of adversity. I claim God's promise above, and I ask Him to do something in my situation that will leave me awestruck, and that will get the attention of others. I often find that when I'm depressed or fearful, praying small prayers just increases my anxiety and doubt. Saying something like--"Oh, Lord, if You'll only do this...I'll be satisfied"--doesn't do much to boost my faith. But when I say--"Lord, I really need You to bless me in a big way now, and I'm asking You to do something wild and wonderful in this situation"--my faith soars, and I'm filled with a fresh sense of hope. Not only do I then have more peace and joy in the midst of my trials, but I also often witness the Lord moving in marvelously unexpected ways on my behalf.

A popular saying in sports is, "The best defense is a good offense." This can be true in spiritual matters, too. The next time you are in a tough situation, and you are being attacked by fear and doubt, don't sit passively by and watch your faith fall by the wayside. Instead, ask the Lord to do something awesome and unexpected, and throw the door wide open for Him to work wonders on your behalf!

Prayer: Lord, when I'm faced with difficult circumstances and my faith begins to falter, remind me that it's not the time to pray ordinary prayers, but to seek Your miracle-working power. Help me to spend regular time in Your presence and Your Word, and teach me how to claim Your supernatural promises. Thank You that as I expect the unexpected, You will move mountains on my behalf for Your glory!

- J. M. Farro


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