Posted by: genelnicholsblog | February 23, 2014

my surprise, His plan

I was blindsided at 7am this past Thursday morning.  I had been watching for signs of trouble and had seen none.  I felt confident that the day was going to go exactly as I had planned.  When my phone pinged with a text message, I still felt no apprehension of anything being awry.  So I could not quite understand as I read, “Your flight has been cancelled.  Call the airline help line asap.”

I had been visiting our daughter in Los Angeles since Sunday.  My return flight was leaving at 11:00 that morning flying through Chicago and then into Cleveland.  I soon learned that “blizzard-like conditions” would be beating down on Chicago just about the time of my arrival there.  So “Okay,” I thought, “let’s just re-route me and get me home.”  The lady on the phone was very nice as she cheerfully told me she could get me out of L.A. on Saturday morning!  All I could utter was, “But, but … that won’t work!”  My husband and I had concert tickets for Friday night.  My daughter had a busy schedule the next 2 days, but now she had an unexpected houseguest, and my “but, but…” went on and on.  The lady on the phone, while sympathetic, assured me that was my only option.  My plans had just been drastically changed.

In our recent reading, we studied the famous feeding of the 5,000 in the Gospels.  You remember, Jesus feeds 5,000 men with only 5 loaves and 2 fish that a little boy offered … and those 5,000 men may have had wives and children with them, so He could have fed upwards of 10,000 people who day!  But here is the back story:  the 12 disciples had been traveling with Jesus from town to town where He was mobbed every time.  The disciples were exhausted from the crowds and the traveling, and they were hoping for a little R&R out in the countryside.  But their plans were drastically changed.

Luke 9:10-14
Then he slipped quietly away with them toward the town of Bethsaida.
But the crowds found out where he was going, and they followed him. He welcomed them and taught them about the Kingdom of God, and he healed those who were sick. Late in the afternoon the twelve disciples came to him and said, “Send the crowds away to the nearby villages and farms, so they can find food and lodging for the night. There is nothing to eat here in this remote place.”

But Jesus said, “You feed them.

“But we have only five loaves of bread and two fish,” they answered. “Or are you expecting us to go and buy enough food for this whole crowd?” For there were about 5,000 men there.

The disciples had been looking forward to some quiet, some rest, and maybe even some one-on-one time with Jesus. Instead a crowd of at least 5,000 people found them and then Jesus tells them they have to feed them!

You know the story – one of the most recognizable, amazing miracles in the Bible then takes place.  Everyone is fed … and there were leftovers, too!

Now let me tell you the end of my L.A. story.  I had to calm myself down first and re-direct my thoughts in order to practice what I preach – God is in control!  Then I remembered something from a book I am currently reading on prayer – the author says to ask God to surprise you when you pray…and that is exactly what I did.  And I was surprised!

By staying in Los Angeles two unexpected days longer, I got to be with my daughter when she finally attained the professional goal she has worked toward for almost 3 years!  I was there to hug her and cry with her and take her for the biggest piece of chocolate dessert you can imagine … Thank you God for that surprise!

My husband took a family member to the concert where they heard the Gospel in the clearest of terms.  I had been praying for this person, asking God to provide a way for me to approach them about the Gospel.  His way was obviously to keep me in Los Angeles … Thank you God for that surprise, too!

God is in control.  Even when we think the day, the plans, the everything is falling apart … God is in control.  If we can re-focus, re-direct, and open our hearts, we might just see God surprise us!



  1. Nice story Gene. God is good.

  2. Genel…

Leave a Comment

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s


%d bloggers like this: