For by Him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things were created through Him and for Him. And He is before all things, and in Him all things hold together.” Colossians 1:16-17
Surprise, surprise, surprise. Three of Gomer Pyle’s favorite words. If you are old enough that name means something. If you are not, well, your only comment would be, “Who would name their kid Gomer?” Well, I guess Mr. and Mrs. Pyle did. Gomer was a television character from the sixties who started in the Andy Griffith Show and then later had his own show called, “Gomer Pyle, U.S.M.C.” That’s right…this most unlikely of candidates joins the Marines and proceeds to drive Sergeant Carter, his drill sergeant and boss, crazy. If you can find it somewhere, and you like just crazy comedy, it might be worth your time.
On both shows Gomer had this high pitch, country twangy voice that really fit his character. But here’s the funny part…he actually had an incredibly rich baritone singing voice. It was so unexpected…kinda like a beautiful song coming from a barnyard chicken. He managed quite a career as an actor and as a singer. Sometimes it is the unexpected that keeps life interesting.
So, last year and just about this time, something happened that was really unexpected. It snowed. While the ground was warm enough that it didn’t stick, it snowed to beat the band. Now if this was Alaska it wouldn’t be a deal, but this is Southern Illinois. Southern Illinois, as in, we are in full blown Spring. Southern Illinois, as in, flowers blooming, trees budding and grass growing. Just like Gomer’s rich baritone voice…this was totally unexpected. We had to haul plants into our garage and cover up what we could in hopes of saving them from the freeze. It was a wait and see game.
Although the weather folks had let us know a little ahead of time, that didn’t change the fact that this was unseasonable and unexpected. To some degree it caught them and us off guard. And, honestly, that is often the case in life. Things come and go and sometimes we see them a mile down the road and sometimes, like Gomer, all we can say is “Surprise, surprise, surprise.” I know our third child was a surprise…at least to us. Of course, there was Someone who knew all about it. Wondering who?
That “Who” would be God. Have you ever thought about the fact that God never says, “Oops?” How about this? Have you ever thought about the fact that God has never, and will never say, “Sure didn’t see that one coming.” Nope, with God there is never an oops and He is never surprised. From the beginning of history here on planet earth until He decides to call it a day, nothing ever catches Him off guard. Nothing. I like that…a lot. Things may catch us off guard but Him, …never. I like what Paul said in the New Testament. He let us know that not only did God create all things, but He is also the One who holds it all together. That means no matter how much it seems like the world is crumbling around us…it’s not…at least not without His permission.
I hope we are done with the “surprise” April snowstorms and freezing temps. For me, once was enough. And while we are at it, I also hope we are truly done with the 2020’s of life and the pandemics. I guess the truth is, only God knows. However, that fact alone gives me peace. The God who made it all knows all about it. All I must do is to remember to trust Him and believe that He will be there whenever, whatever happens. Even if it snows in July, I know beyond a shadow of a doubt, “He’s got this.” Bro. Dewayne