Listen to this devotional:
Listen while you read: "The Wise May Bring Their Learning"1 (Lyrics)
Do you like surprises?
I posed this question recently in a not-very-significant survey (I asked only three people). I received two responses in the positive and one in the negative. Even the two positive responses were later qualified with the comment, "Provided the surprise is a happy one."
As the saying goes, "Life is full of surprises." It is always the case, but lately, with all the disruptions caused by COVID-19, we can almost hear the comic strip character, Charlie Brown, saying, "Good grief!" Not again!
Whatever your response to the question, I can guarantee that shortly, you will be surprised again.
There is a common saying, "Nothing is certain in this life but death and taxes."
While uncertainty seems to be a constant in our life, fortunately there is another constant: the love of Jesus for you and me!
Hebrews 13:8 – Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever. (NIV)
I have a plaque that hangs on my bedroom wall:
- Only one life
'Twill soon be past.
Only what's done
For Christ will last.
"To me to live is Christ."
Since I know that I will be constantly surprised, I believe that the most important thing is my reaction to others — hopefully positive and helpful.
There are many biblical references to people being surprised, but one of my favourites is recorded in one of Jesus' parables:
Matthew 25:34-40 – Then the King will say to those on His right hand, "Come, you blessed of My Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world: for I was hungry and you gave Me food; I was thirsty and you gave Me drink; I was a stranger and you took Me in; I was naked and you clothed Me; I was sick and you visited Me; I was in prison and you came to Me." Then the righteous will answer Him, saying, "Lord, when did we see You hungry and feed You, or thirsty and give You drink? When did we see You a stranger and take You in, or naked and clothe You? Or when did we see You sick, or in prison, and come to You?" And the King will answer and say to them, "Assuredly, I say to you, inasmuch as you did it to one of the least of these My brethren, you did it to Me." (NKJV)
The "blessed of my Father" doing ordinary things — helping to meet the needs of others — are recognized as doing it for God Almighty!
It may be a surprise, but it is true that you and I can do simple things, like being kind to others, and in so doing, we are part of God's wonderful plan.
Prayer: Dear God, as we react to the surprises that continually come to us, may we always do so in a positive, helpful way. May we constantly show others the unchanging love that Jesus demonstrated for all. Thank You for allowing us, as mere humans, to be part of Your great plan for all mankind. In His name, we pray. Amen.