Unexpected Gifts

By Teresa Tierney © 2012

“I can’t believe you’re here!”

Looking up, I almost didn’t recognize my friend Kat. Her stunned expression was void of pleasure. Instead I saw utter relief in her weary face.

“Are you okay?” Kat’s usual sparkling energy was missing. Guiding her to a table in the bookstore café, I was concerned she might collapse.

A recent widow, she told me about her storm of grief in Menards 20 minutes earlier. She quickly left there but found herself unprepared to face 5:00 traffic. Pulling into the bookstore, her prayer was for someone to talk to.

I wasn’t supposed to be there. My husband and I were on the way to Menards when I asked for a detour to the bookstore. So there I was, “in the right place, at the right time” for Kat.

The circumstances and timing were so unique
it had to be a divine appointment – an appointment arranged by God. It may sound like a small thing to be available for your friend when she needs to talk, and in this cellphone-tethered life, my friend can call me any time. But it was so personal and extraordinarily loving for God to arrange for a friend to be in the bookstore instead of just someone.

God has been wonderfully practical in my life –extra money arriving just in time or just the right house available when we needed to move—but I am particularly blessed with his more intimate and unexpected gifts. When I’m in a whirl looking for something and on a whispered prayer the lost item appears. When I’m cutting it close on my journey (which happens far too often), and nine times out of ten the traffic lights run in my favor. When I find the perfect parking spot that saves me minutes of walking time. These gifts let me know he is with me every moment of the day in the little things of my life, not just the big things.

In fact, it seems God has blessed my husband with a “parking angel.” We frequently have VIP parking. I think it is God’s special smile for him. It is his way of saying, “See how cherished you are.”

Now you might wish for a genie god who would rain down money instead of VIP parking, but our God knows what’s best for us. All you have to do is look at the life of a lottery winner to see what unexpectedly large sums of money can do to a person’s life. No. Our God is much smarter than that! He knows each of us from before we were born (see Psalms 139:13-16). He meets our needs, and he blesses us with unexpected gifts in a uniquely personal way.

If God wanted to do the expected, he could have continued his Genesis pattern, imitated so well by Star Trek’s Captain Picard when he said, “Make it so.” Instead God sent his Son to pay the debt for our sins. He knew what we would notice—what would convince us it was him. And so he came—unexpectedly, extraordinarily—as a child. So we could know it was him.

If you have yet to recognize God’s unexpected gifts in your own life, be on the look out—he will be delighted to reveal them to you.

I hope you will share your own experience with God’s unexpected gifts, in the comments below.
See my friend, Kat Crawford’s blog, for more of her story: http://www.caringbridge.org/visit/kat2009/journal/19

Recommended reading: The Prodigal God by Timothy Keller
ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Teresa Tierney is a freelance writer, wife, mother of two, grandmother of three.  She blogs at www.RoadblocksToForgiveness.com You may contact her at T68114@gmail.com

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