There are things I know to expect. For example, Dallas traffic is dominated by people who are sooo busy that they’re entitled to run red lights. Over the years I have come to expect that someone will blow through the intersection a good four seconds after my light turns green. Grrwww… On the brighter side, I expect to be greeted each morning by my husband with a kiss and my first cup of coffee, in hand. I have grown to expect this lavish treatment because he’s not failed to deliver either in nearly 32 years. Agghhh…
Our learned expectations, both irritating and delightful, often become part of our subconscious. However, when one lives in a state of abundance, one comes to also expect the unexpected.
Steve and I had sold our home and had just completed the move. Along the walkway and across the front of the house I had planted multiple flats of butterfly milkweed. Unfortunately, throughout the spring and summer they produced nothing more than a couple of anemic yellow moths. Until that early Sunday morning on November 7, 2004.
Alone, I returned to the house to pick up cleaning supplies and make the final walkthrough. I was very sad—I loved this house and our community but our business required a relocation into the city. In addition, I was nearing the sixth anniversary of my mother’s death. To extract myself from my pity party, I finished a tearful prayer of thanksgiving for the unseen blessings yet to come, then parked, uncharacteristically, in front of the house. Upon my approach to the front door, HUNDREDS of monarch butterflies arose in the air fluttering around me as if they were family pets anxiously awaiting my arrival, I stood in absolute giddy-with-delight awe. My sadness was instantly displaced with overwhelming unexpected joy.
After completing my tasks, I pondered as I drove back into the city: Why were the monarchs camping out in north Texas in November? They typically pass through our area in early fall. Why did I go to the house this morning, alone? Steve always makes the final walkthrough before handing over the keys. And, why on earth was I compelled to park in front of the house? The laundry room, where the supplies were stored, was adjacent to the garage. Why? Because God had a surprise for me that he didn’t want me to miss.
God winks at each of us throughout our lives extending inexplicable gifts. Some of us will be too busy or too sad to notice the treasure. Some will play the skeptic, shrugging off their good fortune as happenstance. A few will even take credit for the bounty placed lovingly at their feet. But those who live in a state of abundance will see it differently.
“. . . no mere man has ever seen, heard, or even imagined what wonderful things God has ready for those who love the Lord.” – 1 Corinthians 2:9 TLB
We know to expect the unexpected—especially on our darkest days. Friends, watch for your butterflies.