Receive the Unexpected

Last week I had the opportunity to preach my message of forgiveness at my church. The event turned out to be a great way to spread the gospel and it gave me the chance to lay my hands on those wanting prayer. I had also brought a stack of my new book WHEN FORGIVENESS IS ENOUGH with me that quickly vanished.

The funny thing about the whole thing is that I had written my sermon twice, months in advance, only to accidentally delete both on separate occasions. So I had resolved to prepare my message a week before without any forethought as to what I was going to preach.

Sure enough, that was when I knew God was there with me while I was delivering his message.

I tend to stumble over my words, simply because I race through what I want to say and my mouth has trouble keeping up with all the ideas firing through my brain. In this case, though, I purposely slowed my speech, and with the Holy Spirit leading me, everything I wanted to say, I said.

What happened to me reminds me of what happened to Moses:

“But Moses said to the Lord, ‘Oh, my Lord, I am not eloquent, either in the past or since you have spoken to your servant, but I am slow of speech and of tongue.’ Then the Lord said to him, ‘Who has made man’s mouth? Who makes him mute, or deaf, or seeing, or blind? Is it not I, the Lord? Now therefore go, and I will be with your mouth and teach you what you shall speak’” (Ex. 4:10-12 ESV).

This took place just before Moses and his brother Aaron went before Pharaoh to ask him to let his people go.

I am thinking now if God could do that with me, untie my tongue just as he had done with Moses, imagine what else he could do if Christians lay all their burdens at God’s feet. I say this because I sometimes feel I may be bothering God with what I ask of him. Yet Jesus made it clear that if I ask for my heart’s desire in his name, if it is his will, I would receive it (John 16:24).

Therefore, we should not think it strange when we do not receive what we ask for, because we may have asked for it not needing it. Yet when we do receive our heart’s desire, it was God’s will all along. And that presses us forward to believe even more in Jesus’ sovereignty as King of King and Lord of Lords.

What a wonderful thing to know when life becomes what we do not expect.

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Marion Ravenwood

If there were a word to describe the dark-haired beauty Karen Allen played in Raiders of the Lost Ark, it would be feisty. I could have chosen fiery, but fiery gives the connotation she has a temper, something I’d attribute to any Molly Ringwald character from the ‘80s. No, feisty’s more like it. Besides, what better way to add another entry to my Women Who Wow Wednesday series than to feature the feisty love interest of Indiana Jones?

Indiana Jones' Marion
Indiana Jones’ Marion

The first time we meet the character Marion Ravenwood is in the movie Raiders of the Lost Ark. Indiana Jones, the adventurous archeologist, visits her in Nepal. Before he enters the scene, she has her hands full in an all-out drinking game. There must have been at least twenty or thirty shot glasses on her side of the table. Whatever the amount, she easily out drinks this burly beast of a man who passes out as a token to her win.

When Indiana Jones shows up, the smile on her face couldn’t be bigger. Long lost love. Past moments. Regrets. This is how it all went down:

Indiana: Hello, Marion.
Marion: Indiana Jones. I always knew some day you’d come walking back through my door. I never doubted that. Something made it inevitable. So, what are you doing here in Nepal?
Indiana: I need one of the pieces your father collected.
[Marion surprises him with a right cross to the jaw]
Marion: I’ve learned to hate you in the last ten years!
Indiana: I never meant to hurt you.
Marion: I was a child. I was in love. It was wrong and you knew it!
Indiana: You knew what you were doing.
Marion: Now I do. This is my place. Get out!

Feisty much? Never one to fold, Marion digs her heels.

Indiana: I can only say I’m sorry so many times.
Marion: Well, say it again anyway!
Indiana: Sorry.

Marion Ravenwood
Marion Ravenwood

Unfortunately, her bar goes up in smoke when a firefight breaks out between Indiana and the Nazis looking for the same artifact. Seeking payment for the destruction of her place from her former lover, Indiana becomes her new partner.

From there they travel to Tanis, Egypt where Marion finds herself threatened by a knife-wielding hood, is captured by the Nazis, attempts to escape, gets interrogated, is left for dead in an ancient Egyptian tomb with Indiana, fights a brood of snakes, escapes again (this time with Indy), and manages to thwart the transport of the ark to Cairo by single-handedly commandeering a plane and firing its machine guns on the Nazis. Whew!

This girl never lets up! Marion can find herself in the worst possible scenario, and no matter what, she’ll find a way to make it all better. Nothing seems to throw her in the dumps. She’s a fireball of energy. A spitfire of a maiden. A true-to-form overcomer. If anyone needs help, it’ll be the other guy because she’s the one who’ll cause the trouble.

Indiana Jones, you’ve met your match.

Ever see Raiders of the Lost Ark? What did you think of Marion?