Monday, April 25, 2011

Full of Surprises

Yesterday, I had the privilege of teaching the 4year old class on Easter Sunday.  All the kids were dressed to the hilt and full of excitement for this day because they knew it was so special.  Some of them did not fully understand why it was so special, they just could tell this day was different.  It was a day full of surprises!

In the class, our wonderful Children's Pastors made it special for the kids by surprising them with a candy toss.  The kids loved this surprise!  Then, they got another surprise when our snack was a Rice Crispy Treat.  Rice Crispy Treats are great, who doesn't like them!  (I had one too.)  : )

However, as great as that surprise was, it  wasn't the best surprise.  Our story in class yesterday was about the best surprise of all!  It was the story of how the two Marys went to the tomb where they laid Jesus and this was where they found the biggest surprise ever....HE IS NOT THERE, HE IS RISEN!!! And then they saw Him on the road!  (Matt 28: 1-9) Talk about a great day of surprises!

Our God is full of surprises.  I was also pleasantly surprised yesterday.  You see, sometimes holidays are a little difficult for me.  I come from a large family that always gets together to celebrate EVERYTHING.  Usually, when they get together, there are at least 20-30 people there.  We live 400 miles away from all our family, so we cannot see them very often and we cannot be with family for every special occasion.   For the past several Easters, I have invited friends over who also do not have family nearby.  I did this to bless my friends, but also so I wouldn't feel the void of missing my family.  This year, however, we did not invite anyone over.  I was slightly concerned on how it would feel to not have a "big"celebration.  It would just be the five of us.  

I had started praying this year that I would find my satisfaction in the Lord and not from anything or anyone else.  I was looking to others to fill me, to give me the satisfaction that only Jesus can give us.  Only the Lord can fill us completely and satisfy us. 

Like I said, our God is full of surprises. How was yesterday?  Wonderful!  I praise the Lord that I felt complete and utter contentment as I spent the day with just my husband and three children.

Oh, satisfy us early with Your mercy, 
That we may rejoice and be glad all our days! Ps. 90:14

The word "satisfy" above is the Greek word "saba'" and it means to be fulfilled.  

God wants us to find complete satisfaction in Him.  When we are completely satisfied in Him we don't have to look to other people to fill us up.  People cannot fill us, so when we try to gain our satisfaction in relationships, we end up desiring something from a person who cannot deliver what we need.  When we don't "need" something from others, we are free to give to others.  We need Jesus to fill us so we are free to bless others and minister to others.  We cannot satisfy them, but the Lord can use us to enrich their lives.  When we are full of the Lord, then whatever people do give us is just "icing on the cake" (or Rice Crispy Treat) : ) and we can just enjoy it without requiring it.  

I wasn't sure why the Lord wanted us to have a quiet Easter at home this year, but I think I know now.  He wanted to show me that I don't need to have people over to be satisfied, that He will satisfy me.  Now, if we decide next year to have friends over, it won't be because I need to do it to fill a void in me.  I will be able to do it only to serve and bless my friends.

I want to leave you today with Psalms 23.  If you know it, read it again in this Amplified Version.  The Lord will always surprise us, He will always fill us when we ask, and He will never leave us wanting.....

The Lord is my shepherd (to feed, guide, and shield me), 
I shall not lack.
He makes me lie down in (fresh tender) green pastures;
He leads me beside the still and restful waters.
He refreshes and restores my life (my self);
He leads me in the paths of righteousness (uprightness and right standing with Him-no for my earning it, but)
for His name's sake.
Yes, though I walk through the (deep, sunless) valley of the shadow of death, 
I will fear or dread no evil, for You are with me;
Your rod (to protect) and Your staff (to guide), they comfort me.
You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies. 
You anoint my head with oil;
my (brimming) cup runs over.
Surely only goodness, mercy and unfailing love shall follow me all the days of my life,
and through the length of my days the house of the Lord (and His presence)
shall by my dwelling place.
Oh, sweet Jesus, how we need You to fill us. We are empty without You. 

Dear Lord God, Fill me today completely to overflowing, until my cup runs over so I can give out to others from the abundance of my heart.  I pray I would not look to other people or things for my satisfaction.  I pray I would only look to you so I can love others without needing anything in return.  I love you, thank you for filling me. 

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