I look out the window. Another black and white day—nothing’s new, nothing’s changed. Then all of a sudden, an unexpected flutter. Out of nowhere a majestic bird appears. I marvel at its wingspan and the precision of its landing. I seize the moment to linger. My eyes refocus and follow every twitch.

Curiosity wells up inside me. What kind of bird is this? Is he looking for food? Is her nest close by? Does she see me watching her? I retrieve the binoculars to get a close-up. My pounding chest fills with reverent awe as I absorb the view. What a magnificent creature God has made!

The busyness of my day forbids the time to gaze and amaze. So I’ll check on my bird later and revisit the wonder. As surely as the clock moves on, so does my bird. But now she’s not just a random bird on a branch—she’s my bird. I’m enriched by her visit, and I’ll keep watching for her.

Sometimes reading the Bible is like an ordinary winter day. The familiar text seems lifeless, black and white, and cold. It begs for fresh insight. Then without warning something living enters the picture. Words jump off the page—words I’ve read dozens of times before, but have never seen.

I delight in this interruption in my morning. Fresh excitement triggers my thumping heart and conjures up endless questions. Why did the author mention these details? What’s the connection to the rest of the passage? Why is God showing me this today? I must look closer and learn what it means.

On those days I long to spend hours mining gold, but often the day’s demands forbid it. So I check back later and return to glean more—a curious explorer seeking gems. The Holy Spirit guides me and unearths hidden nuggets. Others wait for another epiphany.

Full of mystery and intrigue, the Bible never runs out of insight. We’re the ones who grow stale. Our eyes settle for the familiar black and white, and we turn each page with low expectation.

So today I remind myself, and all of you, that this uncommon book lives and breathes. Designed by God to penetrate crusted hearts, it awakens dull minds and rattles our equilibrium. It’s sharpness lies not in human eyes, but in the Author who speaks. What a magnificent creation!

21 comments to Unexpected

  • So very true! Thank you for the reminder and encouragement!

  • sheila payne

    I didn’t think this happened to people as deeply connected as you. It happens to me a lot. I love watching birds. This will make me think of what you just wrote each time I do.

    • Well Sheila, deeply connected is a relative term. Some days I’m deeply connected and other days I’m off in Lala Land. It’s so vital to be intentional in our relationship with God. Otherwise we drift – all of us.

  • Janet,
    I love how God has made you such an eloquent spokesperson for his word. Thank you!

  • Lise Anderson Brocious

    Thanks Janet! How true that it is us that becomes stale. Praise God that His word never does and that He always loves us and seeks to engage us.

  • Chérie

    “An UNcommon living and breathing book —designed by God.
    Penetrates crusted hearts—
    Awakens dull minds—
    Rattles human equilibrium—”

    Gracious sakes alive Janet.
    That is anointed.

    • Hi Cherie, I was inspired by the photo that Richie took. I kept staring at it and thinking about it, and it turned into a blog. So glad it resonated with our community.

  • Natalie

    I loved the blog so much this morning. What a captivating metaphor. I feel a fresh excitement thinking of what I may find in the Word this morning!

    • Hi Natalie, I can’t think of a greater motivation for me than to instill excitement for the Word in someone else. Your words bless me!

  • Beautiful post, Janet!
    Watching my bird friends, at their feeder,from my kitchen window,
    brings a smile to my heart; His Word brings peace and warmth to my heart through cold, winter days.

    Jesus’ Joy, Hebrews 12:2

  • Richie

    I love it when my equilibrium gets rattled by the words of the Living God! Love it when majestic birds fly into our dull stare and rock our world and wake us up! I am being trained to expect the unexpected and it is exciting. Great blog, Janet.

  • Barbara

    Just what I needed today. The busyness of life has left me way too distracted. Thanks for your encouragement Janet to be in His Word and glean from it the words of life.

  • Shari Blodgett

    Love this word picture! Needed to hear this reminder–thank you, Janet!

  • Tony

    So timely. I decided that I wanted to take a break from my journey through Romans memorization, which is sort of seemingly at a stand still, and venture into Hebrews. The bird story captured my thoughts so well. Thank you again.