Photo Credit: Omer Wazir via Creative Commons

[dropcaps style= ‘square’]I[/dropcaps] have had my fair share of surprise birthday parties over the years. While it was fun to be around friends, it was never what I had planned to usher in the new year. As my family continued to have surprise birthday parties for me growing up, I started figuring it out beforehand. I would catch the hushed whispers that would come before my birthday. There would be secret phone calls to friends. It would all culminate in the day when I would show up and be welcomed by a crowd of people shouting, “Surprise!”


In general, surprises catch us off guard. We can try our hardest to avoid and anticipate them, but we can’t always anticipate the things that will happen in our lives. As we walk with Jesus, there tends to be surprises along the way. Unexpected things are not always bad. Sometimes the best surprises in our lives are things that we did not plan or anticipate.


Good Gifts

We can shy away from the unexpected because it is not what we were anticipating. Can things we didn’t plan for actually be good? When someone gives you a present, they rarely tell you what it is before they give it to you. Yet, we sit around begging God to tell us about the gift He is giving us before He gives it. We want to know, and in our desire to know, we can deduce the greatness of God into a formula to try to figure out how He works. The longer I walk with God, the more I think He likes to give us surprises. When we get an unexpected opportunity, we have an opportunity to celebrate the gift God is giving us. When friends we did not expect become part of our lives, we have the opportunity to thank God for the blessing. We can try to minimize surprises in our lives, but we also may be missing out on some of the greatest gifts that God wants to bring into our lives.


God wants to bring good gifts into your life as you usher in the New Year. Matthew 7:9-11 (NLT) says, “You parents—if your children ask for a loaf of bread, do you give them a stone instead? Or if they ask for a fish, do you give them a snake? Of course not! So if you sinful people know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your heavenly Father give good gifts to those who ask him.” 



To receive a gift with open hands and an open heart, we have to stop clinging to certainty. God knows the desires of your heart and the preparation that you need to embrace the future He has for you. He sends gifts in all different packages to bless, encourage, strengthen, and challenge us. James 1:17-18 (NLT) says, “Whatever is good and perfect is a gift coming down to us from God our Father, who created all the lights in the heavens. He never changes or casts a shifting shadow. He chose to give birth to us by giving us his true word. And we, out of all creation, became his prized possession.”



Do you know that giving surprises is actually quite fun? When we are the one giving the surprise gift, we sit on the edge of our seat waiting in anticipation for a loved one to open it. Have you considered that the same thing may be true of God? When He brings good gifts into our lives, I like to imagine Him sitting on the edge of His seat, waiting in anticipation for us to unwrap the package. Yet instead of opening it, too often we walk around the gift, examining it, thinking about it, all the while contemplating about returning it. God wants to bring good gifts into your life; pray for it, believe God for it, and anticipate His goodness in your life this year. Then, the next time God shows up for you in an unexpected way, revel in the surprise, throw your head back in delight, and celebrate the good gifts He is bringing into your life.



Scripture quotations marked (NLT) are taken from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright © 1996, 2004, 2007 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.


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About Hona Amer

I help people live life to the fullest. Check out my book, Smart Work U. Follow me on Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram. In order to receive updates, subscribe below.

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