McDowell Technical Community College

Pause…and Consider

Count on God for Christmas Surprises

Ken and Jan Merop

Avery County


What was your best Christmas surprise?

Did a loved one show up at your front door and surprise you?  Did you open a gift that you never expected to receive?  Did you get to take a trip you had always dreamed about?

Christmas is about surprises, isn’t it?

Rarely do we go around telling our loved ones what we are going to give them unless it is necessary for them to know so we don’t duplicate or misunderstand.  But those are usually exceptions to the rule.

I’ve described before how my engagement ring from Ken came wrapped in a large box, then smaller until I lifted out a shoe box containing a wooden shoe handcrafted by a friend.  Thrilled with my surprise, I never expected the smaller box with my engagement ring to fall out of the shoe into my hand.  My surprise and delight overflowed into tears of happiness.

Pleasing those we love and care about is an overflow of the great heart of our God in whose image we are created.  He delights in surprising us.

In Psalm 37: 3 & 4, NKJV, it says, “Trust in the Lord, and do good; dwell in the land, and feed on His faithfulness.  Delight yourself also in the Lord, and He shall give you the desires of your heart.”

After the angel’s first surprising visit, Mary lived out her pregnancy and her trip to Bethlehem with Joseph.  I imagine she longed to get settled at a welcoming inn.

But, surprise.  No room at the inn except a nearby stable.  But, once Jesus was born and placed in a manger bed; she must have marveled at what God had wrought within her and the good man he had given her to help raise this Son of the Highest.

And even if she may have begun to wonder anew about it all, in moments she saw them coming.  Surprise visitors ~ shepherds with a look of awe and wonder on their faces who had encountered angels ~ as she and Joseph had also in Gabriel’s visits to them.

As the shepherds spread the word and people marveled at all they heard, Scripture says in Luke 2:19, “But Mary kept all these things and pondered them in her heart.”

Mary allowed God to hold and reveal his surprises at the right time.

How might God surprise each one of us this Christmas?  We can count on Him as we keep our hearts open and ready to cherish within us that which he reveals.  Selah

Bear all things


Love came down on Christmas morn

So that all who believe can be reborn.

Freely share that love so graciously given

Easing burdens for others with an eye toward heaven.

“Love…bears all things.”

1 Corinithians 13: 7

“Bear one another’s burdens…”

Galations 6: 2