The Surprise Party

October 19, 2019
by   —   Audio controls are below the devotional to listen to this devotional or to hymn music while you read

This summer, I received an unexpected and surprising email. It was from the husband of one of the writers of the PresbyCan Daily devotionals. In Walmart, he had met my cousins, with whom he had been friends for many years, and he had wanted to invite them to a surprise birthday party for his wife. His wife was with him, however, so he decided to email them the invitation when he got home, which he did. Unfortunately, they had changed their email, and the invitation bounced back.

During the course of their Walmart discussion, however, my cousins had mentioned that I was going to be visiting Ontario shortly. Having thought of me, he emailed me to see if I had their new email address, which I did. In his email, he also invited me and my family to attend his wife's surprise party if I was going to be in the area at that time during my trip, which I was. His wife and I had corresponded many times through the years in regards to devotionals, but we had never met. What an opportunity to finally meet someone whom I enjoyed hearing from via email, I thought.

Thus, on a Friday evening in August, unbeknownst to the birthday gal, my daughter, my two granddaughters, and I showed up at this surprise party. My friend's husband eagerly came across the lawn to meet and greet us, and then, calling his wife over, he introduced us. It was a wonderful meeting and a delightful party, one which I shall always remember and treasure.

The surprise party brought this verse to my mind:

Matthew 7:21 – Not everyone who says to me, "Lord, Lord," will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only he who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. (NIV)

My friend had no idea whom she was going to meet the day of her party. On the day that we enter the gates of heaven, it would seem that that we, too, might be in for a surprise. There will indeed be some of those there whom we are expecting, but I suspect that there will also be those whom we may never in this life have expected to be there who will indeed be there.

God, and only God alone, knows the hearts of people. Sometimes, we might think that we do, too, by the way that a person speaks or acts or dresses or lives. But in reality, we often do not. Only God truly knows. On that final day, I expect there to be a lot of surprises at our heavenly party. This, in turn, was a good reminder for me always to treat others with the kind of love and respect that I myself would like to receive. After all, we do not know now all those with whom we will be experiencing eternity!

Prayer: Father God, thank You that all mankind has been created in Your image, and therefore, everyone deserves our respect and love. Help us to treat others daily as we would like to be treated, so that none of us might be ashamed on that final day by the surprising people whom we will someday find in heaven. In Christ's name, we pray. Amen.

Listen to this devotional

Listen while you read: "Count Your Blessings" (Lyrics)

About the author:

Lynne Phipps <>
Atlin, British Columbia, Canada

Send your feedback to the author

Forward This Devotional to your friends without subscribing them.

1 Comment

  • PresbyCan Feedback says:

    Lovely story. Thanks for sharing.

    Good advice, Lynne. God Bless!

    Wonderful…and so Inspirational! Thank you!

    Lynne, I think you are right on!
    Great devotional.

    Dear Lynne, Thank you for the uplifting devotional and I am glad you were able to attend the surprise party. Let us all remember to treat others kindly and with respect and look forward to the “surprise party” in Heaven.

    Hello Lynne,
    What a lovely devotional. Yes, it is so true that we will face a surprise party on that final day when we meet our Lord.
    Thank you and blessings for the great writings you submit.

    The “icing on the cake” was not just meeting you, Lynne, it was discovering that it was your birthday, too, and sharing that huge You are blessed and loved cake in your honour as well!
    A surprise, an honour, and blessings indeed! Thank you so much. We’ll meet again one day, my friend.

    Good Morning Lynnne, from sunny but cool Ontario! As usual, your devotion is most appreciated, and I look forward to the biggest ‘surprise’ party of all time, when I will be rejoined with loved ones. It will also be a time to meet those whom I don’t know but have ‘met’ through my online devotions.
    See you there, Friend!

    Thank you, Lynne, for sharing this devotional with us. Yes, some of those we will meet in Eternal Bliss may surprise us… and our presence there may surprise them! Not to mention, those who will arrive in Heaven utterly amazed that they are there. Yes, Matthew 25:31 to the end of the chapter states clearly what will happen at the end of the Age. Thank God for Christ Jesus Who decides who belongs to Him because left to our own devices, we wouldn’t have a hope… something St. Paul stated so eloquently in the book of Romans and elsewhere. Blessings, my devotional writing friend. Blessings.

    What a great story!
    I have been giving considerable thought to the matter of treating others as we would want to be treated, asking the Lord for help with this.
    I have noticed, for instance, that people who judge others harshly, are often so judged themselves.
    That people who are generous with their money, time and other things, also receive.
    I am often impatient and judgmental and so often apologize to the Lord and ask for help to do better.

    Hi Lynne,
    How wonderful that you had the opportunity to extend the PresbyCan friendship and enjoy each other’s company on such a happy occasion! I enjoyed the connection to the surprise party we will receive in Heaven. I too have wondered who will be up there when l get there! And of course, l pray that those who don’t know the love of Christ who have been in my prayers (and those whom l don’t know and need to still pray for) will, by God’s grace, be there. Oh, what a pleasant surprise that would be!

    Dear Lynne: How true it is, that we will meet some wonderful people in heaven. I did meet two of our writers in recently. What a sweet time it was. I would love to have met with you also, when you were down, but alas I guess you were too busy with family anyway. Apparently, Robin Ross was also down to Ontario in the summer, but I missed him also. I would like to meet as many of our writers as possible over time. To encourage and to be encouraged. It is always good to read and absorb your devotionals. Perhaps we will meet sometime, or in Heaven.

    Hi Lynne, what a lovely party you and your family were invited to… and what a lovely devotional came out of your experience. One day you and I may meet at the feast Christ is inviting us to in heaven and you are so right, we may well be surprised at who joins us around the table. I look forward to that day. There will be moments of sheer delight, I think. Blessings always Lynne.


PresbyCan is a community of faithful, Holy Spirit-filled, Christ-centred, God-honouring Christians.