April McGowan

Unexpected Surprises

The other morning I heard my husband going in and out the front door. Which was odd, as the clock said 5AM, and he wasn’t supposed to be up yet. I went to see if what I suspected might have happened HAD happened. Yep, it was snowing. We don’t get snow very often in the valley we live in—I think we’re at 150 ft above sea level, so it’s an event when we do get it. In fact, the town kind of shuts down if we get over an inch.

I smiled as I watched him take a photo of the snow swirling down past the orange tinted streetlight. The sound-dampening effects of the snow magnified the stillness wrapping around the neighborhood at that hour. There is no other word than peaceful to describe it. I waved at him, glad to be warm and cozy inside, and raced back to bed.

At that point, I have to admit, I was a bit tempted to wake up the kids. They rarely get to play in the snow. But, I knew if I did, there’d be no going back to sleep. I needed rest to recuperate from illness, and they had been up way too late the night before. I betted on the cold to keep the snow on the ground until they woke up, and then cuddled back down under the covers glad to keep the secret for a couple more hours.

As I began to fall back asleep, something dawned on me. I knew that in few hours my children would be bundled into snow clothes, outside making snowmen and having snowball fights. But I also knew it was in everyone’s best interest that they NOT know what was coming so we’d all get some much needed rest.

How many times have I wished God would let me know what was coming, begged for a Post-It note, a tiny memo? That’s when it settled on me. Like my children unknowingly slumbering in bed, it’s probably for the best I don’t know what’s coming. If it’s positive news, then I’d be so focused on that, I’d miss the good happening around me now. And if it’s bad news, then I’d be so consumed with what was coming, I’d lose the joy I had in my life, living every day in dread.

That message replayed itself in my head this week when we discovered that my husband’s work contract is ending almost two months earlier than it was supposed to. Apparently there was a miscommunication between his contracting company and us—their goof. So, now, he has two weeks to get another contract, instead of 2 months. But I have to remember, while we might be surprised, God isn’t. God knew what was going to happen, and we fully trust He has a plan for our future. Knowing that the Lord of all creation holds us in His hands brings me great comfort.

Psalm 37: 23-24 The LORD makes firm the steps of the one who delights in him;  though he may stumble, he will not fall, for the LORD upholds him with his hand.

Psalm 139: 1-6 You have searched me, LORD, and you know me. You know when I sit and when I rise; you perceive my thoughts from afar. You discern my going out and my lying down; you are familiar with all my ways. Before a word is on my tongue you, LORD, know it completely. You hem me in behind and before, and you lay your hand upon me. Such knowledge is too wonderful for me, too lofty for me to attain. (Read full passage HERE)

1 Comment

  1. melodyroberts
    Feb 27, 2011

    Beautiful. This encouraged me to not worry about the future, and to keep me focused on today. Thanks, April! Good job!

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