Wednesday, December 12, 2012

God Has a Surprise for You

You may have heard recently of the two boys, ages 12 and 13, who were at a community swimming pool last summer. They didn't know one another -- they lived 20 minutes apart -- but they hit it off at the pool, splashing and goofing off together. A friend, watching them play, said, "You guys fight like brothers!" Sure enough, they are brothers! The story of how they got separated and how they got back together is quite remarkable.

Some people call this meeting "chance." But it was not chance that brought them both to the pool that day. I imagine God smiling as the boys woke up that morning, in their separate homes, unaware of what the day held, and saying, "This is the day that you get to meet your brother!" This was not chance; this was one of God's surprises.

Our lives are filled with small surprises from the Lord that come when our paths cross with a former friend, or we find a library book that grabs our hearts or learn something about a person or situation that gives us greater understanding. They come in deep hued sunsets and spectacular cloud formations and light fog, hovering above the horizon or laying gently on the fields. God's surprises come in the words of a song or a scripture that seeks out a thirsty patch in our hearts, nourishing us with living water. Some surprises come as an unexpected gift from a friend. I had one of those yesterday. I'll share it with you some time, but for now I am just absorbing the beauty of the gift, this surprise from God through a friend.

When the angel Gabriel appeared to the virgin Mary (Luke 1:26-38), she was "greatly troubled," and understandably so! But the angel assured her, "Mary, you have nothing to fear. God has a surprise for you" (verse 30). And what a surprise it was, for Mary and for all the world.

God is at work in our world in big ways and small ways, day in, day out, surprising us with signs of his love. I want to live my life with eyes wide open to recognize his surprises. How about you?

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