Surprises. One person loves them, another one dreads them. I suppose for some people it depends on the situation. Maybe they'd love a surprise gift in the mail but not so much an unexpected group of people popping out at what they thought was supposed to be a quiet dinner with a friend.
No matter how you feel about surprises, though, they seem to be an inevitable part of life. It's kind of like that famous line from Forrest Gump: "Life is like a box of chocolates. You never know what you're gonna get." Life without surprises would mean that we would always know what's coming next, and anyone who's lived for more than a minute knows that is not the case.
It seems like children have a tendency to enjoy surprises. I remember one time I was playing a matching game with my daughter and for much of the game, every time she would turn a card over that had a match she would make a cute little gasp of surprise. For her, the delight of discovering yet another match never seemed to grow old. She felt genuinely surprised every time, and honestly it made playing the game with her genuinely more fun for me.
As I reflected on this experience, it struck me how often we are surprised when something lines up or God answers a prayer in a way we can clearly see. Even though we may have seen evidence of God's faithfulness and goodness in the past, when we see it again in a new way, I think we are often a little like my daughter, gasping with joy at the sight of another match!
I almost wonder if God has intentionally created us with the ability to keep being surprised. Maybe this trait is one of the ways we are like "new creations", so He can continually surprise us with His love and goodness.
Have you been surprised by God lately? Are you willing to be open to the possibility that God might be looking to surprise you?
Of course, one of the challenges with being surprised is that you can't really start expecting a surprise, because by its very nature a surprise is something unexpected. But maybe by God's grace, we can all learn to look for the good things that might be unfolding in unexpected ways. Wherever you may be on your journey today, as Emily P. Freeman often likes to say, "may grace surprise you kindly along your way".
Above: WCA Kindergarten students enjoy surprising Mr. Buttacy with a pillow fight during "P" day!
Pray with me...
... God, thank You for the ways You surprise us with Your never-ending mercies
The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases; His mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness. Lamentations 3:22-23
... Lord, we ask for You to bring about good surprises for Your children, in the ACSD community and beyond
For the Lord God is a sun and shield; the Lord bestows favor and honor. No good thing does he withhold from those who walk uprightly. Psalm 84:11
... Father, help us to keep looking to and trusting in You as we await what You have in store for us
But if we hope for what we do not yet have, we wait for it patiently. In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us through wordless groans. Romans 8:25-26
Thanks for taking the time to read this blog and pray for Alliance Christian School District! Lord willing, I plan to publish a new blog post weekly throughout the school year. Feel free to subscribe (at the bottom of this page) if you'd like to be notified each time a new blog post has been published. We also have a prayer team that is always open for new pray-ers to join. If you'd like to learn more, email me at email@example.com.
~ Carrie Warner, ACSD Prayer Team Coordinator
Soli Deo Gloria To God alone be the glory