What we don’t expect

When we enter a new year, we go into it full of hopes and dreams. We have all of these plans for the new and for the better.

Midnight had struck in Warszawa. The new year. My wife and I could hear the fireworks booming in the distance so we went out onto our terrace. Our flat is at the top of the building and we have a 250 degree view of the city. Our view is north, toward the city centre.

And the entire skyline was lit up like magic. We stood out on the terrace, watching in silence. Nobody had told us that the city looked like this on New Year’s. In our hearts we thanked them because not knowing that this would happen made the night perfect.

Except things aren’t perfect. The previous day, my dad was airlifted to Lutheran General hospital in Chicago. Subdural haematoma. Our American family a huddled close, as we all pray that he recovers. We know not to pray for a swift healing because this is going to be a long journey. For now, we pray for safety. We pray that I don’t need to get a last minute flight to Chicago.

I’ve had to learn to hold fast to small graces over the last couple of years. The transforming work of the Holy Spirit in the life of the believer is as slow as it is sudden. So when we are discouraged, when we are lost, when we can’t find hope, we must look at the little things.

Every small grace is minuscule on its own, but they add up. They grow and they act as breadcrumbs that lead us back to our only real Hope in life and death.

A surprise, panoramic fireworks show is a small grace in the shadow of the burden of my hospitalised father. But it’s just one of a million reasons why I believe that God has been good to me.

Dan Alcantara @danalcantara