Surprise

Wednesday, September 21, 2022
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Listen while you read: "Jesus I Am Resting Resting"1 (Lyrics)

One day in early August, I met a fellow resident who is very active. He had just returned from hospital treatment for a relatively serious fall when I saw him out walking. Jack is a very positive person. Rather than discussing his physical situation, he wanted to tell me about two surprises that he experienced.

The first person arriving at his side after the fall was able to quickly stop the bleeding before the ambulance arrived to take him to the hospital. Jack chuckled as he told me that the young man said that he had just completed five weeks of training in first aid and that Jack was the first "live" patient on whom he could practice his training.

Jack also mentioned the PresbyCan Devotional of July 25, 2022, where reference is made to his neighbours, Wanda and Mike. During Jack's hospital stay, his wife, Joan, mentioned to Wanda a need for a safety pin. Not long after, Wanda and Mike returned, not with one pin but with a card holding a dozen safety pins. Jack wanted me to know that he could affirm that the reference to Wanda and Mike being kind and helpful to others was indeed true.

As I thought about Jack's fall, I was reminded that God is able to use us in small, surprising ways if we are willing to help others. The neighbours' surprise gift of a dozen pins when only one was needed demonstrated how small, helpful actions are appreciated. The training of the first-aid graduate would have been useless in that surprise situation if he had not been willing to help. The fact that he also gave Jack a laugh was an added bonus.

How wonderful that God chooses to help us to surprise others when He takes small, positive, apparently minor actions to make a big impact.

In one of Jesus' parables, the King delivers what is perhaps the biggest surprise of all when He comments on the huge impact of the seemingly insignificant actions of the righteous:

Matthew 25:37-40 – Then the righteous will answer [the King], 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)

We can easily fall into the trap of trying to do more and bigger things, whereas God really wants us to do even little things to help others. It may be a surprise to us as individuals, but to God, it is just what He wants us to do.

Prayer: Dear Father, thanks for the many opportunities that You give us to help others each day. May we realize that inasmuch as we do so, we are following Your example when You gave Your Son as our Saviour. In His name, we pray. Amen.

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About the author:

Vincent Walter <vwalter@bell.net>
Toronto, Ontario, Canada

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1 Comment

  • PresbyCan Feedback says:

    Thank you, Vincent, for another helpful devotion.


    Blessings Vince for another of your very thoughtful writings.


    Thank you, Vincent, for continuing to encourage us from episodes in your life.


    Thanks for the encouraging thoughts, Vince. I hope you enjoy a wonderful day.


    Thank you, Vincent, for sharing this encouraging devotional with us.
    Blessings.


    The importance of exercising Jesus’ command for healthy community!
    Blessings Vincent!


    Thanks for the reminder that “little things mean alot”. God uses them all when we freely give them to others.


    Vince – the glimpses into daily life at your Toronto residence give me the sense that I am part of that special community.


    Dear Vince,
    What an inspirational story and example of serving the Lord in small ways that make big differences. I appreciate and am blessed by your writings.
    Be blessed.


    Thank you, Vincent, for the positive message. Often for legitimate reasons you hear folks say they can’t help, and they feel bad that they are not being supportive to a Kingdom cause or activity. Your message clearly encourages all of us that in God’s eyes, Kingdom opportunities permitting even the smallest gestures of loving kindness reflect Jesus’ kindness right where we are in that moment of time.
    (NS)


    Good one. I enjoy your writings. Blessings are such a part of life.
    Don’t you think though that it is only when we make an effort to recognize and name them that we realize they are present? My prayer group decided we would each record 100 blessings before our next gathering. Ah, the surprises that made my list! Having just enough butter milk to make biscuits – perfect. May your day be filled with surprise blessings. Thank you for your gift of words.


    Good morning, Vince,
    I look forward to your devotionals because they are always positive and caring and encouraging.
    Jack doesn’t focus on himself, but on others and how they make the world a better place in many small ways. I think that the same can be said about you. You are always looking to see how you can help others in many small ways.
    This is a gift that God has given, and you value and use that gift. It takes effort and thought to produce devotionals on a regular basis. You are very good at showing others that the little things are very important in this world. Thank you.

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