Surprised By God

Sunday, June 6, 2021
Listen to this devotional:
Listen while you read: "God Leads Us Along"1 (Lyrics)

Luke 6:38 – Give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together, running over, will be put into your lap; for the measure you give will be the measure you get back. (NRSV)

I was going to be alone for the Easter weekend. My friend Katie agreed that it didn't feel like Easter this year. Despite the online Maundy Thursday and Good Friday services that we had both enjoyed, there would be no visiting with friends, no Easter breakfast at church.

I promptly descended into a COVID-19 self-pity state. "God, I hate feeling like this! Help!" The answer came quickly: "Help other people to feel like it's Easter. Send cards."

Yes! I could send those beautiful digital cards. For three hours that Friday, I sent cards. As a name came into my mind, out went a card. Some were people I hadn't heard from for a long time and had been wondering why.

A card with a beautiful Easter message came back from Katie. She had caught the card-sending spirit.

Among other things, my associate and general helper, Ray, works on my newspaper, Hi-Rise, which I publish from home in Toronto, Canada. He appeared, coat on, ready to leave for the long weekend. Suddenly his phone rang. The client for today had cancelled. "Since I am going to be around, I might as well do a few things — and maybe pick up some fish and chips later" — a two-hour bus trip there and back! "I'd like that lot," I replied, happy that I would not be alone, at least that day.

On Easter Sunday, a phone call came from the mother of Danny, my technical support person, who lives nearby. "I love those electronic cards," she said. "I know that you have been trying to reach me. I haven't replied because both my son and I had severe stress symptoms and sort of withdrew. But we got treatment and feel better now. I just got my Easter ham out of the oven. We'll be there in half an hour with two plates, one for Ray" — who wasn't supposed to be here.

The next day, a friend and colleague called. Usually he, his wife, and son shared an Easter meal in their home. "This year, because of COVID-19, we had lasagna with our son, outside his condo, in our car. It was only when I opened your beautiful card that I experienced the spirit of Easter."

One more thing. On Easter, I always enjoyed getting a chocolate bunny. One appeared on my desk on Monday!

By this time, I was feeling stunned by all that had happened. When I asked God for help, why was I surprised when I got it, especially when His answer involved listening for His direction and acting upon it? That set in motion the spiritual law described by Luke in today's Scripture: "Give, and it will be given to you."

I just finished a very stressful production period of my newspaper, more difficult due to COVID-19. Thinking of what happened as we moved through the rough spots, I praised God and kept going. I do not want to let this experience fade. I am asking His help with that.

Have you ever been surprised by God? Cherish it. Tell others. Together, we can help one another know God better and strengthen our faith in Him.

Prayer: Lord, help each one of us to trust that You hear and respond to our prayers. Even though it may take time, help us to remember that You will always hear and answer. In the name of Christ, we ask it. Amen.

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About the author:

Valerie Dunn

1 Comment

  • PresbyCan Feedback says:

    Wonderful testimony, Val.

    Great story and reminder, Valerie. God bless!

    Thank you for a good word today Val.

    Lifted my spirits this morning. Thank you for your happy story of the golden rule in action.

    Dear Valerie,
    What a heartwarming message this morning, thank you.
    God does indeed surprise us because He cares.
    Sending more of His blessings your way.

    Valerie – thank you for this. I had a bit of a Covid melt down the other day and did not do what you did. Thank you for pointing out what I should have done. Thank you for your continued writing ministry. God bless you.

    Thanks for your message today. Words I needed to hear – a reminder that God is always at work in my life. Blessings.
    I also sent out electronic Easter messages as the Spirit moved me to do. God works in mysterious ways.

    What a wonderful account of listening to the prompting of the Holy Spirit and obeying God’s direction. What a faith builder, not only for you and others involved, but for we readers. I feel uplifted having read it. Blessings abound, even with a chocolate bunny.

    Dear Valerie
    Thank you for this encouraging message. Yes, God does have a way of surprising us for sure.
    He is so faithful.
    God bless.

    How uplifting to find that as you “cast your bread upon the waters” it returned to you so bountifully!
    How inspiring at this time, to keep on doing what we CAN and forget about the “can’ts”!
    Bless you for this wisdom,
    (BC Canada)

    Helps me today, Valerie. Thanks for the personal stories that you interweave with your message of hope and strength today. Spreading your faith around through this share of your life meets a need I have to hear a story of faith and action from someone else. You are that someone today and I am thankful.

    What an encouraging sharing today. Thanks.
    And you are still in the writing/editing ‘business’! Wonderful.
    I miss the Record and its challenging, connective influence among us.
    Hope you stay well.
    Thanks again.

    Hello Valerie,
    Thanks for this morning’s devotional. You have truly outlined the way our Lord is ever ready to hear our prayers and answer us in abundant ways. He surely leads us in amazing ways that bring not only delight to us, but also to others that we connect with.
    Blessings for your writing.

    Thank you, Valerie. I find your stories about Easter very encouraging. It is a reminder that God always shows up, just not in the way and maybe not at the exact time we expect. You gave me a much-needed lift to my spirit this morning. I live alone also, and I find this time of isolation very difficult, although they are starting to lift some of the restrictions. Thank you again.

    Dear Valerie,
    I could really relate to your story of how if we tune in to God, he provides the answer and how that opens up so many new pathways. I loved your story of how you reached out and then others reached out to you. God is amazing and helps us when we ask. It is so true that if we share our stories of being surprised by God, it helps us and helps others also. That is his message of love and spreading the good news.
    What a lovely song to go with your encouraging message. “God leads us Along” and we truly need that at certain times in our lives. Thank you for sharing and may you continue to reach out and share. May you have many blessings.

    Nice one Val.
    Thanks for sharing.
    It always feels better to give than to receive. God’s blessings.

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