From surprise parties to surprise visits to just the surprise of what's in the boxes under the Christmas tree, surprises bring a lot of excitement to an oftentimes already happy occasion. While surprises can be thrilling, they sometimes require a lot of patience during the waiting process, a trait that so many of us do not enjoy working on. What little kid wants to wait to open that huge Christmas gift under the tree, when we can open it now? We all know the feeling (especially, if you're anything like me as a child, you might've found a way to sneak a peek at some of your gifts early!), but we especially know the blessing a surprise gift can bring to our lives when we have the patience to wait for it, or even better, when we truly didn't know it was coming!
Surprises are good. Yet oftentimes in our relationship with God, we forget that.
We seek God. Sometimes the answer comes quickly. But more often than not, the answer doesn't come right away. We seek, we ask, but the door doesn't open. Frustration creeps into our hearts and we lose faith.
Does this sound familiar?
If this is you, don't give up. One of the things God has been reminding me again and again is that He LOVES surprises. He loves answering prayers in bigger and better ways than I ever expected. He enjoys giving good gifts to His children, especially gifts that He knows we'll love and cherish. In fact, Jesus told His disciples:
Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; the one who seeks finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened. Which of you, if your son asks for bread, will give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a snake? If you, then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask Him! Matthew 7:7-11
Jesus said that when we ask, we receive. When we seek the Lord, we WILL receive. But Jesus never said that we will receive exactly what we want when we want it. God is too good of a Father to give us the thing we want when He has something better in store.
Surprises never come at the expected time. God surprises us with exactly what we need when we need it, and it's usually not when expected. His timing and His loving gift will always be best for our lives. Yet too many times, we forget that. Too many times, we doubt His love, we lose faith, and we wonder whether God really loves us or whether He even exists.
But know this: When you keep seeking Him, He WILL provide. It may not be when you want it, but He works for the good of those who love Him, and it will come at just the right time. His timing is so much better than our own. And it is during this process that He strengthens our faith and our dependence on Him. We learn the fullness of the word "trust". We learn what it really means to seek, trust, and rely on the foundation of God and His love.
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Don't stop seeking the Lord. He will provide. It may not be the door you're expecting, but the door will open.
Because I know from experience, our God is a good Father...and He loves surprises!