Jo’s Journal: When God Surprises You


Jos Journal at Mustard Seed Sentinel

When God Surprises You

Seeing Blessings Even in the Small Things

by Joanne Troppello


My sister needed to go to the office recently and asked if I could watch her daughter, Bri in the morning and then take her to the bus stop later. Bri brought her iPad and some toys. She played some games and then watched a kid’s video on Netflix. After I cleaned the breakfast dishes, I was doing my PiYo workout. After a few minutes, Bri said she wanted to do the exercises too. Then she ate lunch and afterward made a craft.


I love that I get to do craft time with my nieces and had been able to do that with my nephews when they were younger too. I said she could do the craft in the kitchen at the table, but she wanted to put the craft mat on the floor.


I got everything ready for her and let her do her thing. She is very creative. When she was nearly finished with one of her crafts, she said the following:


“When you look at this, your eyes are going to pop out of your head.”

A few minutes later, I looked, and I actually did open my eyes wide and said, “Wow, that is very good!”

She said, “See, I told you your eyes would pop open.”

For some, her drawing (photo used in the header of this article), may seem simple. Sure, she is 6 years old, and it may be simple. Yet, I don’t think it was simple. I had laid everything out, and she choose exactly what she wanted and made a craft. I didn’t give her any direction, and she made a really good picture of a face (as well as a card and another drawing for her mom).


When God Moves


I know for me personally, there have been times when I was surprised that God actually answered my prayer. I don’t know why I was surprised. I prayed in faith after all.


4 But Jesus said to them, “A prophet is not without honor except in his own country, among his own relatives, and in his own house.” 5 Now He could do no mighty work there, except that He laid His hands on a few sick people and healed them. 6 And He marveled because of their unbelief. Then He went about the villages in a circuit, teaching. – Mark 6:4-8 (NKJV)

I don’t know about you, but I don’t want Jesus to marvel at my unbelief like he marveled at the unbelief of those in his own country who didn’t truly believe He was the Son of God.


In Acts 12:5-17, you can read how Peter was freed from Prison. Verse five says that the church members were constantly praying to God for his release from prison. God sent an angel to rescue Peter from prison. While the angel came there, Peter thought he was seeing a vision and that the angel wasn’t really there. Verse 11 shows that Peter realized that God truly did send the angel to get him out of prison.


When Peter came to Mary’s house where everyone was gathered, he knocked on the door of the gate and a young girl named Rhoda answered. She recognized Peter’s voice and didn’t even open the gate but ran back inside to tell everyone that Peter was outside.


15 But they said to her, “You are beside yourself!” Yet she kept insisting that it was so. So they said, “It is his angel.” 16 Now Peter continued knocking; and when they opened the door and saw him, they were astonished. – Acts 12:15-16 (NKJV)

Just imagine how Peter felt, finally being rescued from Prison and his fellow believers didn’t let him inside and didn’t believe he was there. Hadn’t they just been praying to God for many days for him to be released – yet they were astonished when God actually answered their prayers.


I can relate to how those believers felt. They truly prayed in faith, but then were still surprised when their prayer was answered. Maybe you have felt that way before.


I think it’s important for you to be open to how God can surprise you each day, even finding the blessings in small things – not just waiting for the big answers you’ve been praying for. Those big answers may come too. However, when you’re open to trusting God through it all with a childlike faith, your eyes are going to pop out of your head too the next time God surprises you with both big, small, and in-between sized blessings and answers to prayer.


Stay open to God moving in your life. Don’t put Him in a box. Maybe He’ll have a surprise for you today!


When was the last time God surprised you with something special (big or small)?

About the Author


Joanne Troppello at Mustard Seed Sentinel

Joanne Troppello is an author, writer, and poet. She is the publisher of the online Christian lifestyle magazine, Mustard Seed Sentinel. Connect with Joanne on Twitter. You can find Joanne on these social media channels—Twitter, Facebook, Parler, Spreely, and Clouthub—with the same username, @JoanneTroppello—and @joannetroppello.mseedsentinel on Instagram. Visit the Mustard Seed Sentinel YouTube Channel. Check out MSS Live Well Corner.



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