The Unexpected Blessing

Monday, November 14, 2016
Listen to this devotional:
Listen while you read: "I Am Thine O Lord"1 (Lyrics)

Jeremiah 23:24 – "Can anyone hide in secret places so that I cannot see him?" declares the Lord. "Do not I fill heaven and earth?" declares the Lord. (NIV)

Last week, as I was out walking the trails with the dogs, I received the most glorious, unexpected blessing. As we came around a bend in the path, there before me stood the same pine tree that is always rooted at that spot. And yet, something marvellous had occurred.

It was a windy day, and the leaves of autumn were at their peak, radiating an almost fluorescent glow. And as they swirled and danced, hundreds of them had attached themselves to this tree, transforming it from the ordinary to a most extraordinary sight. The leaves in their golden brilliance hung from the branches much like tree ornaments on a Christmas tree. Yet never in all my Christmases have I seen such a beautifully decorated specimen. Each leaf appeared to have been hung with the utmost care. "Totally magnificent" was the only way to describe this unexpected blessing.

Unexpected blessings, I believe, are all around us each and every day if we are open to receiving them. Why do I believe this? Because, as today's Scripture tells us, God is always and forever with us. There is nowhere that we can go to hide from Him. He surrounds us day and night, for He is a God Who desires a relationship with His creation.

Hosea 6:6 – I want faithful love more than I want animal sacrifices. I want people to know me more than I want burnt offerings. (NCV)

As a God Who desires a love relationship with us, He reveals Himself to us that we might know Him and His unexpected blessings always.

He reveals Himself to us through nature: "The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of his hands." (Psalm 19:1 NIV)

He reveals Himself through Christ: "No one has ever seen God, but God the One and Only, who is at the Father's side, has made him known." (John 1:18 NIV)

He reveals Himself to us through other believers who glorify Him, like the psalmist: "O Lord, our Lord, how majestic is your name in all the earth!" (Psalm 8:1 NIV)

He reveals Himself through His Word: "All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness." (2 Timothy 3:16 NIV)

He reveals Himself to us through His Spirit: "But God has revealed it to us by his Spirit. The Spirit searches all things, even the deep things of God." (1 Corinthians 2:10 NIV)

Today, may each of us desire to see or hear or know the unexpected blessings that God has in store for us. For indeed, they are all around us, just waiting to bring us joy and a deeper relationship with the One Who loves us and is always and forever with us.

Prayer: Father God, how glorious and good You are to us. You surround us always and forever, and bless us in the most unexpected and delightful ways. Open our hearts, our eyes, our ears, and our minds to You this day, that indeed, we might recognize and receive the unexpected blessings that You have prepared for us. In Christ's name, we ask these things. Amen.

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About the author:

Lynne Phipps <>
Tawatinaw, Alberta, Canada

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1 Comment

  • PresbyCan Feedback says:

    Let God stand with you always.

    So very true Lynne. Thanks for another encouraging word.

    Thank you Lynne. How beautifully you word things in your devotional.

    A burning bush! God gets our attention in astonishing ways!
    Thanks for sharing your blessing with us.

    Loved this devotional. Many people say, “what a coincidence”! I don’t believe in coincidences. I do believe in God’s grace to us in many unexpected ways.

    Lynne, What a blessing to see that tree adorned as if for Christmas! Thanks for sharing your experience of God’s unexpected blessings. Blessings.

    Dear Lynne:
    Beautifully said. You always hit the right note.
    God bless you.

    Thank you Lynne for making God’s Presence so real, for reminding us that the natural world is there for us to enjoy and for Him to ‘speak’ to us. We are truly blessed, if only our minds and hearts were always looking for His secret messages to us. God bless.

    Good Morning Lynne,
    How delightful to begin my day with these encouraging reminders. You have primed my spiritual pump and so I head out into this glorious day expecting the unexpected. God is good! Blessings.

    Lynne, your Daily Devotion was an unexpected blessing to me and a gentle reminder that I must live in the moment so that I don’t miss God’s unexpected blessings. Thank you.
    (Illinois, USA)

    Thank you Lynne,
    God’s Word thoughtful the earth & heavens! I see you are writing about the beauty of this fall season from B.C. As I read your meditation from Ontario I couldn’t help but be struck by how God speaks to us throughout his world through the beauty of Nature! Thank you!

    Good Morning Lynne! Loved your devotions this morning. Thank you for your wonderful words and great reminder!!
    I am going out with friends from my church and our minister and I am going to share this with them as we drive.
    Thanks again. And may God continue to bless you as you share His love with others.

    What a lovely story.
    I can just picture it.
    Many would just see colourful leaves but you saw them with the eyes of the Spirit.
    And yes God’s blessings are all around us, he wants us to receive them but we have to be open to recieving, and part of that is believing they are there.
    Thanks for sharing.

    Thank you Lynne for a wonderful devotional & for reminding readers of the ways that God reveals Himself to us. We are so blessed to have an ever-present loving Father with us throughout our lives!
    And thank you for sharing the imagery of the unexpected blessing you encountered on your walk! What a beautifully naturally-decorated tree that must’ve been to see!
    Please do continue to write.

    Good afternoon, Lynne, from So. California.
    Earlier I had sent a message to my Canadian cousins, expressing some of my thoughts of some of things we have to give thanks for, some of which we may ignore as blessings, or possibility for blessings. Then I read your devotions that blessed me a lot, and I know we are on the same wave length. It’s so easy to complain instead of concentrating on all the Lord puts into our lives to bless us. PTL. God bless you real good.
    Thank you, Lynne, for sharing your blessings.

    Dear Sister in Jesus:
    Blessings in this wonderful beautiful day the Lord has created!
    Very much like your pine tree masterpiece, the sky this morning was a panorama from the palate of God, which I could never try To imitate. It was absolutely amazing. This is God – absolutely amazing!
    This day, and every day, let us pause and view the wonders our God has done! Amen.

    Hello Ms. Phipps
    I am a Canadian by birth, although I am also now a US citizen. I stumbled across this site, I think, when I was searching for material on contentment.
    Your devotion is beautiful — especially the image of the pine tree. Your devotional also has special meaning for me. When I was at a monthly potluck with some members of my church in California we had been studying Phillip Yancey’s The Jesus I Never Knew. It has a chapter on miracles. Someone asked if there are any present day miracles and when some described miracle cancer cures the questions came up “why not me? what not that child?” I had no answer. However, your devotion reminded me that we have the miracle of God’s presence, of Jesus walking alongside of us in our times of trouble, and grieving with us when we grieve — even more so than we grieve ourselves because he grieves like a mother grieves for her child — all around us every day in, as you say, the “unexpected and most delightful ways” if we but open our hearts, our eyes, our ears, and our minds to see these blessings. These are miracles that we all can claim.
    In this time we here in America must claim all the miracles and blessings God offers to us.

    Lynne this is a beautiful devotional that resonates with my heart. Thank you.
    Bless you.

    Sounds beautiful Lynne. Were you able to take a picture? God’s world is so magnificent! Thank you for this inspiring message. Blessings.

    Hi Lynne!
    Last week for the first time ever, I too saw a tree decorated as if for Christmas by the wind. I managed to get a picture of it.
    Be encouraged in your “walk” with the Lord. Thanks for writing to us.

    Great job Lynne: The leaves in southern Ontario have been glorious this year, more so than for several years. WE praise God for his beauty. If his created things are so beautiful, what must He be like, if we could see him.
    Those points are similar to the points in a recent Alpha Programme segment. Very real and they spoke to one lady who reported that she had finally stopped fighting God and gave in to him. Praise the Lord.

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