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Nobody is more surprised than I am when it works, when it pays off, when something goes right. There is just the residual shadow of a deeply jaded cynic within, and a broken child that is certain despair rules the day and resistance is futile.

“Residual,” kind of like that film in the bottom of your coffee cup, the dregs, flecks of a few grounds that escaped. My favorite example of residual is, “the withdrawal of residual occupying forces.” Those two forces used to occupy and rule over me, cynicism and despair, but God said, they are an invasive species, they don’t belong here. YOU are occupied territory, mine.

He also said, they’re liars, but He said it as if it were amusing, a bit silly, worthy of a good eye roll and not to be taken seriously. No condemnation at all, just a lot of grace and acceptance. That child of despair is lying to you today, just as the cynic is lying to try to guard her heart.

Nobody is more surprised by God than I am. Caught completely unaware, I tell ya. When I was a teen ager and by that I mean well into my late 20’s, I used to rail and rant about how God had abandoned me on a planet full of stupid people. How could a good God do that? People, some trying to be helpful and some not so much, would immediately try to deny that truth, try to claim not everyone is stupid, try to deny the problem and misdiagnose the solution and of course blame me for speaking of it in the first place. Not God! He told me the truth. “Yes, I did. I left you on planet full of stupid people but I have not abandoned you.

Nobody is more surprised by God than I am. Caught completely unaware. I often do not see Him coming, do not notice Him at work. Sometimes when I look back on my life, I can see evidence that He was there already, like the wake behind a boat. He laid down the foundation long before I even knew we were building a house.

All these words of mine simply to say, the good guys do win sometimes, you know. Resistance is not always futile. He is a God who draws close to the broken hearted, to the crushed in spirit, but He is also a God of battle and of victory, too.

“A bruised reed he will not break, and a smoldering wick he will not snuff out, till he has brought justice through to victory.” -Matthew 12:20