Philemon 7 Your love has given me great joy and encouragement, because you, (sisters), have refreshed the heart of (this) saint.
This past week has been Vacation Bible School at our church. We were blessed with approximately 1,500 children, about 250 of whom I had the privilege of serving through the Preschool Snack station. I suspected the work would be hectic, and it at times, was. I figured someone would get testy with our work station, and they did. What took me by complete surprise was just how much I enjoyed working with the other girls at my station. It was as if God looked down at all of us, smiled and said, "I love you sweet girls. You are each my chosen princess and I'm going to give you a special present this week you weren't anticipating - each other. Together your group will be funny, engaging, thoughtful, kind and encouraging. Your work will turn into pleasure. Your days will turn into treasured memories. Never forget how much I love you."
This morning the passage I'm reading is Acts, Chapter 3. In this section of scripture, Peter and John are entering the temple for a time of prayer, when they encounter a man crippled from birth. He is stationed there daily to beg for money, hoping to gather enough to eat another day. He asks Peter and John for money. Peter and John weren't flush with cash but they gave the very best they had to give - they completely healed him.
All those milling about, praised God and were filled with wonder that Peter and John could do such a thing. Peter, knowing they had done nothing but Jesus can do anything, seized another opportunity to speak about Jesus. He begins his speech by inquiring, "Why does this surprise you? (Verse 12)", and then proceeds to explain who Jesus was and why He had to die as the sacrifice for each of our sin.
The question, "Why does this surprise you?", resonates with me today. God graciously blessed me this week and yet I was surprised once again by His goodness. Later, Peter says, "Repent, then, and turn to God, so that your sins may be wiped out, that times of refreshing may come from the Lord (Verse 19)". That is precisely what last week was for me, a time of refreshing. Here the Word tells me God giving me times of refreshment is a direct result of having established a relationship with Him. Because God always keeps His promises, I should never be surprised again when He blesses me so abundantly beyond measure. Yet I know I will be.
Jesus, thank you for your kindness towards me by blessing me with such sweet friends to spend last week with. You truly have plans for good and not to harm me. Thank you for surprising me with Your goodness even when I shouldn't be surprised. Today I will be more attentive to Your work in my life and all the little blessings You send my way. You are the author of every good thing in my life.