SURPISED BY GOODNESS, a devotion for 14 December 2018 Anno Domini
1 Let brotherly love continue. 2 Be not forgetful to entertain strangers: for thereby some have entertained angels unawares. 3 Remember them that are in bonds, as bound with them; and them which suffer adversity, as being yourselves also in the body. Heb 13:1-3 (KJV)
What is it that men consider to represent a message from God? Is it a dream, a sudden interruption in the normal process of a day, a vision in a cloud, or would we insist on some Angel of Light appearing before us bearing a message from God as Gabriel did appear to the Virgin Mary? Do we require such dramatic authentication of God’s visitation?
Do we not observe the mighty wonders and beauties of God every day in our lives under the sun? What of the beauty and miraculous instincts of the Morning Glory (my favorite flower) that knows when the sun shall rise and opens its fragile petals to receive the light of heaven, and it opens directly to the light source just as we Christians should open our early moments of awakeness to the Light of our Salvation, Jesus Christ.
We do, as well see babies miraculously brought into life through God’s gift of conception and birth. The baby is formed in darkness, and brought forth to dazzling light at birth. “ Whither shall I go from thy spirit? or whither shall I flee from thy presence? 8 If I ascend up into heaven, thou art there: if I make my bed in hell, behold, thou art there. 9 If I take the wings of the morning, and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea; 10 Even there shall thy hand lead me, and thy right hand shall hold me. 11 If I say, Surely the darkness shall cover me; even the night shall be light about me. 12 Yea, the darkness hideth not from thee; but the night shineth as the day: the darkness and the light are both alike to thee. 13 For thou hast possessed my reins: thou hast covered me in my mother’s womb. 14 I will praise thee; for I am fearfully and wonderfully made: marvellous are thy works; and that my soul knoweth right well. 15 My substance was not hid from thee, when I was made in secret, and curiously wrought in the lowest parts of the earth. 16 Thine eyes did see my substance, yet being unperfect; and in thy book all my members were written, which in continuance were fashioned, when as yet there was none of them.” Psalms 139:7-16 (KJV)
Go’s Hand is in every drop of dew, every snowflake, every song of the bluebird, every budding rose, and every heartbeat. How could we not know of His abiding presence in our lives? Why must we expect some miracle above the miracles we see every day in our lives as necessary to be those messages sent to us for our counsel and joy? You may be wondering where I am going with all this reflective material? I am simply wanting to relate a message from God I received, quite unexpectedly, just yesterday while sitting at my desk at St. Andrews. Christmas music was playing, and I was feeling a bit melancholy being alone.
Suddenly, there was a knock on the door. When I opened the door, there stood a dear friend of years past. He and I taught military flight students for many years at the Army Aviation School. His name is David – his last name would not have meaning to the reader. But I have considered David at the top of my list of friends, and one of pure goodness of character, over many years. Though I had not seen him for years, my affection for him has not waned with time.
Many years ago, the trees on our church yard were badly damaged by winds from a passing hurricane. At the time, I was ill and unable to clear the debris. My wife was in the yard picking up limbs when David came by and offered to help. He did not know that the property was my church and office; but he set out to clear the broken branches and even saw off those that were broken down and still attached to the tree. He then asked if we had electrical power which we did not have. He took a generator to my house for us to use, but when he arrived, the power had been restored. He asked my wife if she knew anyone else who needed help.
David is Roman Catholic, and a devoted saint of the Lord. He and his wife devote their retirement years to volunteer work in helping the less fortunate.
Back to his visit to my office. We chatted for a time, and he told me that he read my devotions every day. I had wondered if anyone really paid much attention to my writing, but believe God sent David to remind me that, regardless the quality of our service, the Lord rewards our feeble efforts at serving Him. David did something else that was nearly shocking – he gave me a sizeable donation to help with Christmas cheer for our youth. Since my wife and I finance this little church, the gift was much appreciated.
I consider David’s visit to be a message of encouragement from God to me at the most needful moment. To me, his visit was that of an angel unawares since an angel is a divine messenger sent by God. They can take on the form of men, women, children, or even precious pets. We can all be someone’s angel especially for those who are experiencing a lonely Christmas without friends. I hope I can be the kind of friend David has been to me to someone lonely this Christmas, or needing a hand up. David’s kindness and generosity is contagious!