Pastor's Corner - Surprise
September 25, 2019
I just love it when my Heavenly Father chooses to surprise me! He did that last week when I had a couple of errands to run in Roundup. I needed to go the bank and post office and decided to go on Friday to miss the week-end crowds. As I drove into town on Friday afternoon, there was a big commotion down by the IGA store so I pulled over near the curb by the courthouse. First thought that came to mind was an accident as there was police presence and lots of people gathered. As I looked further, I saw a PARADE with floats, police protection, the works. And I was sort of at the tail end of that parade. So I decided to turn right on the street by the courthouse and evade the parade while going to Valley Bank. Surprise! As I turned down the alley behind the courthouse, I came face to face with the parade that had turned onto that road going past Valley Bank and headed for the park. So, I turned off the car, put it in park and sat and watched the parade. All of it, not just the tail end. I didn’t know there was a parade in town, had not expected one and was delighted to encounter one. I discovered later that it was Roundup’s Homecoming Parade. How good of God to let me see it so close up and be an almost participant in it.
How did I know it was God and not just happenstance? He does that to me a lot. I think I am going out for one reason and end up going for a reason I had not intended. One of the first times I can remember that happening is when I live back in Illinois and was working with a world renowned evangelist setting up meetings for him in the state. He moved to Florida and I really wanted out of that situation as communication was difficult. I prayed about it and one morning, God spoke to me and said “This is a day of decision”. Of course I thought this was about the problem, but when I went to the mailbox, there was a copy of Billy Graham’s magazine which was called DECISION. Very funny, God! God has a great sense of humor. He has to. He puts up with me. Later that day I did receive a call from my evangelist friend and, amazingly, he had come to the same conclusion and decision. We parted friends.
1 John 2:20 says, and let me translate the Greek for you, kai (and) umeis (you) charisma (annointing oil or Holy Spirit) exete (have) appo (from) tou (the) agiou (Holy One, thing, God, Jesus), kai (and) oidate (know, come to know, experience) pantes (all). Some translations will add the word ‘truly’ but it is not in the Greek nor in the King James Bible. God’s Spirit which came to live inside of me when I asked Jesus to be my Savior, lets me know when it is God at work in my life. That day, last Friday, my loving Father God chose to surprise me with a parade while doing mundane errands. How delightful that was.
God surprises you, too. All the time. How do you respond to it. With joy and delight, or with complaining and impatience because YOUR plans weren’t working out. Let God have the glory!
Rev. Joyce Kaplan, M.Div.,
Retired UCC Pastor