What would fill you with astonishment or amazement or wonder?
What has God done in your life that caused you to marvel?
God doesn't ever do things the way we think He should or the way we assume He will. He does things we would NEVER do. We humans like to control things. We want things to go a certain way. It makes us feel safe (that safe feeling is not real though).
I was reading in John 4 this morning (a great chapter to read by the way), and a verse caught my eye that I don't think I ever gave any time to. It is John 4:27 and it says, "And at this point His disciples came, and they marveled that He had been speaking with a woman; yet no one said, 'What do you seek?' or 'Why do you speak with her?'"
I love how Eugene H. Peterson interprets it in The Message. It says,
"Just then his disciples came back. They were shocked. They couldn’t believe he was talking with that kind of a woman. No one said what they were all thinking, but their faces showed it."
Marvel and shock are similar but not the same. I kind of like the shocked verb for God does shock us. The way He does things goes so far outside our comfort zone that some of us choose not to let Him work.
Jesus wasn't supposed to be talking to a Samaritan Women.
First, she was a Samaritan. Samaritans and Jews hated each other. They didn't get along.
Second, she was a woman. Celebrated rabbis did not speak with women casually.
Third, she was, as Peterson interprets, "that kind of woman." She had been married to five husbands and was presently living with a man who wasn't her husband. In our society a couple living together, acting married when they aren't, is embraced, encouraged and even expected now. In Jesus' day it was really really bad. Society back then took God's ways a whole lot more seriously than ours does.
Jesus did not act the way He was supposed to -- of course His disciples didn't ask Him about it. They just stayed shocked and inwardly judged. Years later they understood. John even wrote about it. They could have had a teaching moment, a great conversation after the woman left. They weren't open to it though. And Jesus didn't try to explain Himself.
Are you picturing what I'm picturing? A bunch of people watching someone do something that just isn't done and immediately judge that person and the situation. What if instead of judging we would ask questions? Questions may make us more open to seeing God and letting Him work.
When we are looking for a specific solution to a problem in our lives, a specific answer to a prayer, then we may very well miss the answer God brings. It all gets down to relationship with God and with others.