My husband and I will be celebrating our 11th wedding anniversary on September 15. We’ve been on vacation for the past two weeks and have had an enjoyable time together, and to be honest, neither of us realized our anniversary was just around the corner. Until yesterday.
Yesterday, we unexpectedly wound up at the oldest inn in the State of Ohio. The Golden Lamb in Lebanon. This inn holds special significance and meaning to us. We spent our wedding night in the Charles Dickens room of this inn and thoroughly enjoyed the history of the town and location.
So in the midst of a torrential thunderstorm, a power outage, rain soaked hair and clothing, we enjoyed a fabulous dinner with my Dad.
I love when God unexpectedly shows up in my life. Whether it’s by seeing a passage of Scripture that fills my heart with sunshine or when I am convicted of a sin. It might be a person through whom Jesus speaks or a glimpse of beauty along the way.
Whatever it might be, when God unexpectedly shows up, I know blessings are not far behind.
But I’m not alone. God has been doing this since the beginning.
Noah (Genesis 6-9) had an unexpected visit from God although he was a righteous man and walked with God. One day, God said to Noah, “Build an ark.” And in Noah’s obedience, he and his family were blessed with life.
We read of Abraham’s unexpected visit in Genesis 12. God told Abraham to leave all that he knew and go to a place where God would tell him to go. God shared a promise with Abraham in Genesis 12:2-3 (NIV). “I will make you into a great nation and I will bless you. I will make your name great, and you will be a blessing. I will bless those who bless you, and whoever curses you I will curse, and all people on earth will be blessed through you.” What a blessing Abraham received because of his obedience.
Daniel’s unexpected visit came from an angel (Daniel 6:1-28). But maybe it wasn’t as unexpected as we might think. Daniel had been loyal to God and God had blessed Daniel. When Daniel was thrown into the lion’s pit to be killed, God sent an angel to spend the night with Daniel. In the morning, Daniel was able to share the account with King Darius and bring joy in the midst of sorrow. Daniel received a blessing from God and was also a blessing to others.
Paul shares his conversion story several times through Scripture. Acts 9:1-19 is the first account. On a journey to persecute Christians, Jesus unexpectedly stopped Saul along the road. For three days, Saul was blind and did not eat or drink a thing. When he received another unexpected visitor, Ananias, his life would be changed forever. Saul was baptized, filled with the Holy Spirit, and preached boldly of Jesus from that day forward. Paul’s blessings from God were tremendous and blessings poured forth from God to others through Paul.
On a tiny island, a servant of God spent his last days alone, without human companionship. It was here an unexpected visitor brought a vision to John. This vision is recorded in the Book of Revelation. John was blessed and encouraged by the vision.
He learned from his vision that Jesus was victorious and that hope was available for those going through persecution. Revelation 1:3 (NIV) says, “Blessed is the one who reads the words of this prophecy, and blessed are those who hear it and take to heart what is written in it, because the time is near.”
The blessings didn’t end with John. We receive the blessing of encouragement as well when we read this book.
I love unexpected encounters with God. Knowing something could happen at any time keeps me alert to the possibilities. I pray that you’re looking for these encounters as well.
I was blessed beyond words by having dinner with my Dad and Mason. In the midst of all the turmoil and uncertainties of the night, we were able to enjoy the best food The Golden Lamb had to offer. I’m so thankful for these two men and that God chose them for me. I am truly blessed.
Grace and peace be yours in abundance,