Saturday, June 14, 2008

Sunday Devotions: A Nice Surprise

Just when I thought I was going to have a painfully miserable day, the Spirit surprised me through the kindness of a stranger and fellow pilgrim.

Podcast version here

At this time of year, I find it difficult to type things on my keyboard. The dry heat of summer dehydrates my hands, and I end up with horrendously painful hacks on my fingertips. Ten years ago, it really didn’t bother me, but now that most of my work involves keyboarding, it can make me miserable.

Yesterday I was feeling that way and, because of the pain, I couldn’t put together a devotional. My weakness was hard to overcome and my heart yearned to write. I was feeling quite sorry for myself, when the Spirit blessed me with a beautiful and completely unexpected surprise.

A cardboard box was waiting for me at the church office. I thought it contained a couple of books that I ordered three days ago. When I looked at the label, I quickly realized that this was a different delivery. It was a special overnight package from Canada. I was both intrigued and excited at the same time.

Leslie in the office helped me open the box and we discovered another package tightly wrapped in special foil bubble wrap. I still didn’t know what it was, and it took me a couple of moments to break the seals. Inside I found another package which contained ice, and beneath it was a wonderful surprise. It was a special box of handmade Purdy chocolates from Vancouver. I had never tasted them before. I now know that they are deliciously exquisite.

There was no card with the package. Someone must have read my chocoholic devotional recently and kindly decided to send me the chocolates. They arrived at the best of times because I was feeling sorry for myself, and miserable about not being able to type a devotional. Instead of me writing to inspire someone else, a kind heart cheered me thoroughly with this beautiful gift. I don’t know who that person is, but I want to truly thank them for being so thoughtful.

Romans 8:26 In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groans that words cannot express.

Today, my hands feel better and my fingers are beginning to heal. The Spirit helped me in my weakness through the kindness of another Christian. Isn’t God wonderful?

Prayer: Lord Jesus, everyday You surprise us with the blessings from other Christians. Sometimes they offer us a kind word and a smile, a loving hug, or an act of kindness. This world is made more beautiful through the gifts of Your servants and the thoughtfulness of Your people. Thank You Lord for allowing us to be influenced by You and inspired by Your Spirit. In Your Holy Name, we pray. Amen.
John Stuart is the pastor at Erin Presbyterian Church in Knoxville, Tennessee.
He writes the daily devotional "Heaven's Highway."


stinuksuk said...

Good to hear your hands are beginning to feel better. What a marvelous gift to receive!!!!
I've had the Purdy Sweet Georgia Browns (Turtles) and they are out of this world. Better than any other. Savor and enjoy this gift of grace and chocolate!

Stushie said...

Thanks stinuksuk.

The gift giver was a lady from Canada whose husband died in February and only daughter died in May. She had read some devotionals that I had written for the PCC and was touched by them.