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Daily Devotion

The Surprise Visit

By Gene Markland

My Wife and I had an experience that was a “first” for us as Parents. On a beautiful Saturday, with nothing to do, we sat around relaxing from a busy week, when suddenly our doorbell rang. Not wanting to be disturbed by a solicitor, my wife peeked out the front window to see who had interrupted our peaceful solitude. Seeing no one, she came back to the den when the doorbell rang again. She went back and looked out of the window again, but the person was standing too close to the door to be seen. Just then her cell phone rang. She answered and heard a familiar voice say, “Mom! Come to the front door!”

With a shriek of joy, Martha ran to the door shouting, "Laura’s home!" Sure enough, there at the door was our precious daughter. She had surprised us with her first visit home from college. We enjoyed a group hug and kisses.

We were thrilled, and yes, surprised. After a great day of family time, she returned to the University that night. But the excitement of her first surprise visit is something that we’ll always remember.

Thinking about the experience, I remembered the story that Jesus told about the prodigal son. Though the circumstances were different, we read in the story about a father whose son had left home. This father had no idea if he would ever see his son again. He didn’t know of the calamity his son had gotten into. He only knew that his son was gone, probably forever.

Then one day, one ordinary day when he least expected it, he saw the figure of a man in the distance walking his way. Like us, he couldn’t believe his eyes. His beloved son had come home! In the Bible account of the story it says, “And they began to be merry” (Luke 15:24 KJV).

Why such rejoicing? We rejoice because of love, the love of a parent for a child. As I pondered those things in my heart, my thoughts turned to God, our Father. As great as our love is for our children, it cannot compare to the love our heavenly Father has for us, His children. He proved that by giving His only begotten Son, Jesus, as a sacrifice for us. He did it so that all of His children could one day come home.

“For God loved the world so much that he gave his one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life” (John 3:16 NLT).

He loves us so much…why… we ought to pay Him a surprise visit! How do we do that you say? On an ordinary day, not a Sunday morning or a regularly scheduled prayer time, pay Him a surprise visit in the Spirit.

Pray, and talk to him. Spend time in his Word. Praise and worship Him in a song. Do it at a different place and at an unusual time. He’ll love it, and you’ll be blessed as well. Like that old song says, “And the joy we share… when we gather there, none other… has ever… known.”

Pay your heavenly Father a surprise visit. He’ll love it!

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Gene Markland is an Author, Speaker and Entrepreneur. He is the author of Fellowship in the Spirit: Angelic Encounters, Spiritual Warfare, and Effective Intercession are Waiting... He resides in Virginia Beach, Virginia with his wife Martha and daughter Laura. Gene blogs at - Send Gene your Comments

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