Do you love surprises as much as I do? They can be words, events, gifts, discoveries...; all unexpected. Bursting in on thoughts or interrupting normal routine, the good surprises of life are welcome visitors.
Valentines Day is always special, but the last few years my wonderful spouse presented me with the usual roses and candy. The roses were set in the same vase in the same spot on the counter, like guards smartly dressed in red, standing at attention to greet me upon entering the kitchen in the morning. The candy box from the local confectionary downtown held the chocolates that used to be my favorite kind. At least the card could always be counted on as something new and filled with sweet sentiments penned in my sweetheart's own handwriting. It was meaningful to be remembered and there's something quieting and secure in the familiar, comfortable bestowals. Much like our long-lasting relationship, I suppose.
Early in the morning of two fourteen twelve, after my hubby had left for work, I shuffled into the kitchen to make coffee. Sure enough, there stood the beautiful sentinels waiting for me. I will never tire of the cheery presence of red roses-- their sweet fragrance, deep hue and velvety petal finery make me happy.
I opened the card propped up against the vase. What? The greeting was in Spanish! I smiled at the absurdity. High school Spanish class, taken years ago, wasn't aiding me in interpreting the message . I read the thoughts he had written in a bottom corner of the card. "Once you figure out what this says, you will know how I feel about you...". How does he know? He knows even less of the language than I do. Later, I call him with my thanks and find out the card has English translation on the backside. He has taped over these words so I will have to decipher the inside message. Knowing I am currently enrolled in a Spanish class at the college where I work, he thought I might like the challenge. It was truly a hallmark of surprise!
Doesn't it feel like a suprise every time a familiar passage of Scripture makes a new impression on our thoughts or delivers a message in a brand new way? This week I read Ps. 44 and received one of these discoveries. The Psalm starts by looking back on generations before and how God had defeated enemies for their forefathers and made their ancestors flourish. Verse 3 says,
"It was not by their sword that they won the land, nor did their arm bring them victory; it was your right hand, your arm, and the light of your face, for you loved them."
Because we know God hasn't changed in character or nature, we have assurance that this sovereign God will work in our battles with his right hand(denotes authority), his arm (strength) and, I love this part, the light of his face, for he loves us. His love shows in his face. His face glows with love for us. What a lovely image to carry with us, especially in times when we are engaged in battle, in conflicts of life.
The week brought more unexpected treats; a gift book in the mail, dark chocolate dropped off at my desk at work while I was away for lunch, an early morning call from my son and granddaughters on their way to school and an expected text from a brother far away.
By the way, there were chocolates under my pillow when I went to bed on Valentine's Day. And surprise! The box held a new variety of sweets. Thank you, Father, for the blessing of a good and Godly husband and for your demonstrations of love in so many different forms and fashions.