Last week when the unusual blast of cold air came our way in Southeast Texas it snowed! We get snow regularly - on average about every 20 years or so. This makes two years in a row! My Grand kids now believe it snows every year around here. Last year they built a snowman that was about 12 inches high - that's all the snow they could come up with. This time they built one that was about 3 feet tall - they used most of the snow from their back yard to do it. What a wonderful day they had - they were released from school early and spent the afternoon playing in the snow! Good stuff!
I remember a snow event from my childhood. Snow was so rare that my brother and I were shocked and delighted when we woke up to several inches of snow on the ground just a few days before Christmas. We were on Christmas break from school and so we played in the snow all day long or until our hands were so cold that we thought our fingers were going to fall off. We would go in warm up our hands, have some hot chocolate and out we would go again. It was spectacular fun. It was cold enough that a little creek froze over and we played "hill country hockey" for several days. What a great surprise this snowy and cold weather was that Christmas break!
I love life's joyous surprises. They come to us in the most unusual packages. My little brother, was an unplanned and joyous surprise. I know that Mom and Dad must have been shocked when the country Doc told Mom, what she already knew - "Yep, there is one in the oven, little darlin' ".
Even though there were times when I wanted to send him back, what a wonderful gift to have a baby brother. He is still one of the great joys of my life.
A couple I know prayed for many years for a baby - ten years later they had a little girl. Her name was Dawn and she was the joy of their life - one other thing - she had Down Syndrome. No child was more affectionate than this child, none could match her excitement and joy with the most ordinary events - she was a serendipity - an unexpected blessing! Not everything about Dawn's life is easy but her parents could not love her more.
I think about that sweet teenage girl named Mary, who received the word from Gabriel, that she was going to have a baby boy and he would be the Son of the Most High God-Jesus -Immanuel - God with us. Certainly she was shocked but somehow she understood that she was blessed and favored and that God could be trusted. Rather than live in the grip of fear, she opened her heart to God's purposes. Mary truly was full of grace. (Luke 1:26-38)
What surprises does God have in store for you? How will you receive them? Though fear and doubt may be our immediate reaction, trust is the way that leads to genuine joy.
Just thinking, Steve