Thursday, January 10, 2013

OnFire #293 Pineapple Surprise

OnFire Encouragement Letter
OnFire #293 Pineapple Surprise

I opened the cupboard door and reached for a new can of cat food. I grabbed it from the shelf we normally keep these things on, the second one from the bottom, below line of sight where we put the more well-used things like soups, but above the things we stoop to pick up, like the potatoes. I wasn’t really paying attention. I grabbed the generic yellow can and then picked the opener from its place in the drawer nearby.

What a surprise to find pineapple inside. Well, it was and it wasn’t. Jan had run out of space on the shelves above and set it there several weeks before. With its bright yellow budget brand wrapper, it could have been anything, and I had almost mistaken it for cat food several times.

I thought it really was a delight to be surprised by the pineapple. Jan and Mark were working in the kitchen when it happened and we shared a laugh over it. If anything, I tend toward the serious and so laughter is good. Jan’s first words were, “Don’t eat it. I’ll make it into something.” She knows me well. I like pineapple and would have seized the opportunity which the now-open can presented.

There are all sorts of lessons in this, I suppose. To pay attention, read carefully, and not assume. Good lessons, but not the ones I saw that day.

Wonder is the word which comes to mind. I love it when little things like this brighten and lift a day. We can’t take them granted. Often these little things are what we needed to click us out of a mood or a funk, and I think are heaven-sent.

Our God is a God of surprise, of wonder and joy. Do a word search in the Bible and discover that wonders happened when God acted to bring about a different result from what was expected by the circumstances. The Israelites did not expect rescue at the Red Sea. David did not always expect to see the light of day when he was chased by his enemies. The people who came to Jesus for healing had exhausted all other avenues of hope. That’s what makes these events wonders. Each person was surprised.

Human nature, I think, is that we forget the Lord is God. He is not like us, not limited as we are, not hindered by weaknesses and faults. We constantly need reminders that He is a God of surprise and wonders, and trust Him to do far more than we can ask or imagine (Eph 3:20).

A can of pineapple is a small thing, but it brought a little joy to a day which had been filled with burdens and worry. A surprise is still a surprise. As we begin this new year, may we all look with new eyes to the God of surprises and wonders.

Ps 40:5 Many, O Lord my God, are the wonders you have done.
The things you planned for us  no one can recount to you;
were I to speak and tell of them, they would be too many to declare.

 OnFire is a biweekly letter on faith and character written by Troy Dennis. This letter published Jan 10, 2013. Troy is the Pastor of Family Ministries at Highfield Baptist Church, Moncton NB Canada. Scripture taken from New International Version, 1984. To subscribe or reply, email Archives are located at Blog located at

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