Psalm 95 (ESV)
Oh come, let us sing to the Lord;
let us make a joyful noise to the rock of our salvation!
2 Let us come into his presence with thanksgiving;
let us make a joyful noise to him with songs of praise!
3 For the Lord is a great God,
and a great King above all gods.
4 In his hand are the depths of the earth;
the heights of the mountains are his also.
5 The sea is his, for he made it,
and his hands formed the dry land.
6 Oh come, let us worship and bow down;
let us kneel before the Lord, our Maker!
7 For he is our God,
and we are the people of his pasture,
and the sheep of his hand.
This week I was blessed with a snow day. I wasn’t expecting it, and didn’t pray for a break from our normal schedule – but I needed it. I was exhausted and a day without the school rush was extremely enjoyable. We got to sleep in, and the kids and Mandy got to catch up on their schoolwork and it was just an all-around good day. I am so thankful, but it also caused me to think about these “unforeseen, unexpected blessings”.
Like you, there are times where I have been praying for something – and I am so grateful that God works to help. Like this week, I was praying repeatedly for strength and help with my son’s situation because I was at my wit’s end… and the late night after a late night had me strung out to the point where I was inexplicably cold and just kept shaking from the stress. I probably sounded like the persistent widow in my prayers, but I was trying my best to practice what I preach – and not only remember who I serve but give the situation to God. Thankfully, God came to the rescue – and what I was dreading was taken away. He certainly didn’t have to do that, but He did, and I cannot thank Him enough. He answered my prayers as I was pleading “God, please help” and it has filled my “praise tank” ever since!
There are other times that I pray for something… or want it to happen… but then I forget to be thankful when the blessing comes. It was something that I meant when I prayed it, but the follow through of praise and thanks was absent – and I am convicted that is a trend that we all need to take some steps to rectify. I want to always be filled with reasons to come into His presence with thanksgiving.
But this 3rd occurrence is what I really want to focus on right now. These times where “…for your Father knows what you need before you ask him.” (Matthew 6:8) where God chooses to bless us in ways that we didn’t see coming, because He loves us. I’ve had times where someone mails us money as a blessing that ends up covering medical bills that we were dreading. Where I spoke somewhere, and God used the message I planned to work in someone’s life in an area I hadn’t even considered in my preparation. Another time, I avoided an accident by no skill of my own. I was actually frustrated at having to change lanes because of a bad driver – but then seeing how the bad driver was like a “Balaam’s donkey” and ended up being the thing that kept me safe. God knows what we need. We have a GOOD Father, that loves us and provides for us. So take some time and give Him thanks. Thank Him for answered prayers and the “unforeseen, unexpected blessings” that come your way just because He knows you so well.
Striving alongside you for the prize, Jay