DayBreaks for 12/20/11 – Christmas Surprises
Peter saw his opportunity and addressed the crowd. “People of Israel,” he said, “what is so surprising about this? And why stare at us as though we had made this man walk by our own power or godliness? – Acts 3:12
Peter and his group had just been instrumental in the healing of a lame man. The people were surprised and astonished. Peter, however, quickly sets the record straight – it wasn’t anything they did, but it was Jesus/God who had the power – and why should anything God does surprise us?
Christmas is about Jesus, of course, but it is also a story of surprises…the greatest surprise of all time, of God With Us. Perhaps it shouldn’t have been a surprise given all the prophecies about it over thousands of years, but my guess is that we would have missed it too – it was too big of a surprise to even try to anticipate.
There are other surprises we enjoy at Christmas, too. We enjoy the brightly wrapped surprises that we find under our trees – 20, 30 or more – and we can sit and enjoy them for several hours if we are able to discipline ourselves to not tear the wrapping off in a frenzy.
Listen to this true story about a professor. One night he was at his desk working on the next day’s lectures. His housekeeper put the mail from the day at his desk and he did like we do – throwing most in the wastebasket. He then noticed a magazine, not even addressed to him but delivered to his office by mistake. It fell open to an article titled “The Needs of the Congo Mission”.
He began to read when he was consumed by these words: “The need is great here. We have no one to work the northern province of Gabon in the central Congo. And it is my prayer as I write this article that God will lay His hand on one – one on whom, already, the Master’s eyes have been cast – that he or she shall be called to this place to help us.” Professor Albert Schweitzer closed the magazine and wrote in his diary: “My search is over.” He gave himself to the Congo.
That little article, in a periodical intended for someone else, was put in Schweitzer’s mailbox accidentally. Was it chance? No, it was one of God’s surprises. Even that surprise, though would have paled next to the one Mary got when visited by the angel, Gabriel.
God wants us to be surprised by Him every day. I hope it doesn’t take the Christmas story to make us blink in wonder at all He does in our lives constantly.
PRAYER: Surprise us, Lord, each day with Your love, forgiveness, compassion, care, concern, generosity, faithfulness, blessings after blessings, wisdom, grace and power!!! In Jesus’ name, Amen.
Copyright 2011 by Galen C. Dalrymple.
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