Where do we expect to meet God?
As Jesus preached throughout Judea, the crowds reacted in different ways. Some accepting Christ’s message, allowing themselves to be transformed, while others were hesitant to believe. We read in the Gospel of John that some people couldn't believe that Jesus was the messiah because His home town was Galilee.
We often walk into situations or relationships with expectations of where, when, and how they will be and come from. Even in our prayers we often ask or expect God to respond in specific ways and become fixated on how we imagine things should be.
There is an old joke I’ve heard told many times about a man caught in a flood. As the water rises to his front door, he prays for help. A woman in a rowboat comes and offers him a ride, but he refuses, saying that God will save him. As the waters rise to the second floor of his house, a power boat comes along offering him a ride. Once again, the man refuses saying that God will save him. Now the waters have engulfed the man's house, and as he sits on the peak of the roof a helicopter comes, lowers a ladder, but again the man refuses, yelling at the chopper that God will save him. Finally the waters rise beyond the house and the man sadly drowns. In heaven the man confronts God, asking why He didn’t answer his prayer and save him. God replies, “I sent you a rowboat, a powerboat, and a helicopter, but you refused them all”.
The crowds in Judea, and the man in the flood, closed their hearts to God except in the one way they wanted to encounter Him, but God enters our lives in many ways, some subtle, some pronounced, but always in ways He knows we need, not necessarily want.
When we open our hearts to an encounter with God, and do not put restrictions on those encounters, God will enter our lives in much richer more powerful ways.