At this phase of my life journey, one of my favorite prayers is simply, “Surprise me, God!”
This type of praying is still rather unique for me because I tend to be somewhat of a control freak who hasn’t liked surprises of any kind until perhaps the past couple years.
A couple weekends ago, Ron and I surprised our older daughter and her family when we showed up at the Texas Roadhouse in Eugene, Oregon. Angie, Jonny, Mackenzie and Sydney with her boyfriend, Vic, were preparing to eat dinner prior to attending our grandson’s first home game playing hockey with the Eugene Generals. We’d told only Mackenzie—the family’s premier secret-keeper—our plans.
Our delightful weekend served to remind me that sometimes God’s surprise includes precious fun-filled times with friends and family! Here the entire family celebrates with a spiffed-up Jackson, who made us all jump up and shout a short time earlier when he scored a spectacular goal.
Surprise Me, God
Sometimes God’s surprise includes precious fun-filled times with
friends and family!
One week after our family surprise, Ron and I enjoyed a Friday lunch together followed by a walk along the beach. When we arrived home, Ron realized he’d lost his new, specially formulated and very expensive glasses. He left immediately to re-trace his route.
No, the glasses hadn’t been found at the restaurant, he was told.
He didn’t see them in the lot where we’d parked.
(Of course, the entire time he was searching, both Ron and his wife who’d remained at home were praying.)
My husband’s final stop was at the lake where he had knelt in the sandy beach to take photos. The man who’d been donning his wetsuit at the same time we were walking and taking pictures, had returned from his swim and commented, “Where did these come from?” just as Ron arrived next to the fellow’s beach towel to inquire whether he’d seen a pair of glasses. There, clasped in the questioning man’s hands, were Ron’s [new, specially formulated, very expensive] spectacles!
This stressful incident reminded me that sometimes God’s surprise comes in the form of a gracious and merciful discovery!
I enjoy looking at ways the Bible tells how God surprised different people. These examples come immediately to mind this morning as I write this blog post.
Joseph, who, like the little boy, Alexander, in the children’s book, had known more than his share of “terrible, horrible, no good, very bad days,” was quite suddenly surprised by God when he was released from an Egyptian prison and catapulted to second in command of the Egyptian government in only a short period of time. (For Joseph’s story see Genesis Chapter 37-50)
Moses, who after 40 years, undoubtedly felt resigned to a future of tending sheep in the Midian Desert, was surprised by God through the encounter of a burning bush. God’s updated marching orders sent Moses to lead a band of over a million folks with slavery-instituted mindsets to a land God promised to their ancestors hundreds of years earlier. (See Exodus 3.)
A teenage girl, Mary, surprised when an angel told her she would give birth to the long-awaited Messiah. (See Luke 1:26-56)
A ragtag group of shepherds, surprised when a band of angels announced the birth of the Messiah. (See Luck 2:8-20)
A group of grieving women surprised once again by an angel. This time, they were assured their beloved friend and teacher, Jesus, was no longer in the tomb but had risen, even as he’d promised. (See Matthew 28:1-10)
I once heard a minister say words that resonated at the time and continue to return to my memory as truth:
“God never acts quickly, but God always acts suddenly.”
Today, as I conclude, I’m praying for each person reading this post..
Dear God, please surprise this reader with one of Your good gifts! You know each need, each prayer, each heart. Surprise in a way that’s unique and causes him or her to recognize Your kindness in the surprise.