One fall day, just before Thanksgiving, my husband and I were driving by a large organic food market. It was lunch time, and we were getting hungry.
“Look! People are sitting outside with plates of food. Maybe we could get something at the deli,” I said. We walked hopefully into the store. To our amazement, we were welcomed, given a paper plate, and invited to line up, where the aproned staff were dishing out tiny samples of food. They obviously wanted people to get to know them, and to see what the store had to offer. When our plates were full, we had a delicious turkey dinner, complete with all the trimmings, organic apple juice, and even a tiny slice of pumpkin pie — and we didn’t pay a thing! We looked at each other in shock. We happily enjoyed our pre-Thanksgiving dinner.
We had been looking to buy something for lunch, but it was free. This treat was unexpected, and we were caught by surprise.
Just as our meal didn’t come in the way that we expected, God is well known for doing things in surprising and unexpected ways. For example, when the promised Messiah finally appeared, the Jews were caught completely off guard. They didn’t expect that a baby born in a humble stable would be God’s way of introducing salvation through faith alone.
One of Jesus’ parables in Luke 14:16-24 illustrates God’s astonishing ways. A man prepared a great banquet, but all of the people that he had invited gave his servant excuses not to come.
“His master was furious and said, ‘Go quickly into the streets and alleys of the town and invite the poor, the crippled, the blind, and the lame.'” (Luke 14:21b NLT)
Wouldn’t it have been a surprise to see a fancy banquet attended by the poor, crippled, blind, and lame, when you were expecting to see the rich and influential? We shouldn’t be surprised by God’s ways, because He often does things contrary to what we expect. God chooses the common and lowly over those who are indifferent and preoccupied with other things. He wants His house to be full.
“Is anyone thirsty? Come and drink — even if you have no money! Come, take your choice of wine or milk — it’s all free! Why spend your money on food that does not give you strength? Why pay for food that does you no good? Listen to me, and you will eat what is good. You will enjoy the finest food. Come to me with your ears wide open. Listen, and you will find life.” (Isaiah 55:1-3a NLT)
This Thanksgiving, despite what it cost Him, we shouldn’t be surprised, but grateful, that God has prepared His best for us. Despite the way that our Saviour Jesus came to us, we should be grateful that our salvation is free. We should be grateful that God accepts the humble and insignificant over the ones who think that they are self-sufficient. We don’t deserve all His blessings, but we shouldn’t be surprised at them.
Prayer: Dear Lord, thank You for what You have provided for us. We are grateful, not only for the blessings of this life, but that You’ve invited us to Your great banquet. We look forward to eating with You! Through Jesus, our Saviour, we pray. Amen.
Copyright © 2021, by Alice Burnett <email@example.com>, first published on the PresbyCan Daily Devotional presbycan.ca .
Red Deer, Alberta, Canada
Reprinted from PresbyCan with author’s permission