Have you ever had a surprise party that you kind of knew about, but it still surprised you?
You walk into your house knowing something’s up, but really not sure what? Or maybe you definitely know there’s a party, but when you get there it’s way bigger than you thought it would be?
When my dad turned 50, my mom acted surprised when “random” friends just “dropped by” one by one for dinner. My dad knew something was up, but didn’t think he would be adding 25 chairs to the table that night. It exceeded his expectations, and caught him by surprise.
The thing that makes a surprise party so special is that the person (or people) who throws it for you knows you well enough to invite who you’d want to invite, make what you’d want to eat, and be where you’d like to be. They’ve calculated the details, and taken time to make your surprise fantastic. Just for you. Just. For. You.
Last Monday, I met with a magazine editor who was going to give me some writing assignments for the week. Cool! A story here, a story there. I knew it was going to be some work, but until we met, I really didn’t know how much work.
I spent the rest of the week running (literally) from one place to the next, talking to people, finding the stories, writing, getting to know the media team, and consequently, not sleeping. (Ok, I did sleep. Just not very much.)
What is that phrase—Experience is the best teacher? Well, it’s true.
You know what else is cool about surprises? The surprise is tailored exactly for you. To someone else, it might be torture, but to you, it is perfect.
God has a way of doing that…when you least expect it. In fact, He specializes in this kind of thing. (Okay, what does he NOT specialize in?)
The job was much bigger than I was expecting – like my dad’s birthday dinner that was bigger than just the six of us. But I was ok with that. The week was exhilarating and I had more fun than I thought was possible.
It was an absolute surprise, something that I couldn’t see coming. (Like when your rental car turns out to be a 2012 Camaro!) But God had it all mapped out ahead of time. There He goes, being all sovereign again. In addition to having a ton of fun and building writing skills, I made excellent professional contacts from whom I can learn a lot(!), added by-lines to my portfolio, and found something that I love doing—giving me clearer direction for post-college life.
Immediately James’ words came to mind: “Every good and every perfect gift comes from above, coming down from the Father of lights with whom there is no variation or shadow due to change. Of His own will He brought us forth by the word of truth, that we should be a kind of firstfruits of His creatures” (James 1:17-18).
God, the ultimate surpriser, took His deep, intimate knowledge of me (Ephesians 1, Romans 8), and crafted this perfect, over-the-top surprise for me last week. He knew what I would love, and I couldn’t have even asked for anything better.
And then, God pulled back the curtain and said, “See, child? I know you better than you know yourself. And I do have great things in store for you. You just have to trust me.”