C.S. Lewis wrote an autobiography of his early life and entitled it Surprised by Joy. In his deeply logical and sometimes out-of-my-depth writing, he spoke of moments of joy in his life. If I wrote my autobiography, I think that would be the perfect title. I often think about those little moments in time when God surprises me with joy. My response might be a startled gasp, an exclamation, a giggle, a tear, or perhaps even a sob.
In the past few weeks I’ve had several moments when God has surprised me:
Ready for work one morning, I opened my front door and watched as a hummingbird breakfasted on the flowers in my red sprinkling can on the porch. Too quickly, it flitted away, even before I realized it was a hummingbird. But I can still see the picture in my mind, and it still makes me smile.
Washing the dishes doesn’t usually bring me joy, but as I looked at my tiny African violet on the sink, I noticed color. Purple! Two tiny blooms were pushing their way up. The flower was a birthday gift from Kate last fall and to see that it was blooming again (I don’t have an indoor green thumb.) brought a smile to my face and joy to my heart.
Leaving work one afternoon I noticed the storm clouds forming to the south. But the sun was still shining from the west and the clouds at the edge had a beautiful silver lining. It’s not just a saying. I saw the silver glinting in the sunlight and enjoyed the beauty with a joyful heart.
An upcoming wedding creates many ways to spend money and one evening this week I was wondering how to manage some expenses coming up. The next day when I got home from work I brought in the mail. A simply addressed envelope caught my attention in the midst of all the sales ads. When I opened it up, a typed message – Happy Wedding – was folded around cash. No name, nothing else. Just the money. I knew God had sent it, through someone who had listened to His prompting. My heart was overwhelmed and I sobbed. That doesn’t sound joyful, but it was.
Another day I brought in the mail and a package from Amazon Books caught my attention. At first I was concerned because I didn’t remember buying a book from Amazon. Then I remembered a dear friend had told me she was wanted to share a book with me. What joy to have a friend. And a new book.
Too many times I get so lost in the things I am doing that my focus narrows and I forget to keep my mind on things above. My heavenly Father brings little pieces of joy into my life to remind me of what is to come. And when I meditate on my future with Him, in His service without this sinful nature, I know that I will be overwhelmed with joy.
As you go through each day, remember to praise Him for those little moments when you are surprised by joy.
Psalm 30:5 “For His anger is but for a moment, His favor is for a lifetime; Weeping may last for the night, But a shout of joy comes in the morning.”