I never could have imagined the surprise that awaited me at the end of my day.

Our son, David and his wife Danielle, were staying in our home for a few months as they transitioned to new jobs and a new home. It was a sweet gift getting to know them as a couple and watching them navigate through life decisions.

They were the ideal house guests: closets were organized, furniture was rearranged, broken things were repaired, our dryer was replaced, and all of our computer/phone issues were resolved. Danielle organized a “paint day” and we chose a blue-grey slate for an accent wall in their bedroom. We painted the entire room, while David repaired holes in the walls, moved furniture, removed blinds and cleaned up when we were done.

I could hardly believe the difference. It was gorgeous!

And I was exhausted!

Later that evening, over snacks of crackers and cheese, Danielle asked me to go downstairs so we could talk about painting my study.

Not at all excited about the prospect of another exhausting day of painting four walls, baseboards, window sills and doors, I followed her as she threw open the door to my study.

I couldn’t believe my eyes!

Danielle had already finished the hardest job of all – the rich blue-grey slate of an accent wall had completely transformed the room! My response reminded me of game show contestants who discover a brand new car awaits them behind door number three. Barely intelligible words and loud gasps were interspersed with wild flailing arms and punctuated with wide-eyed delight.

Best surprise ever!! Over-the-top-extravagance! Beyond anything I had even imagined!

It reminds me of the way God often surprises us with His goodness – throwing open doors suddenly and unexpectedly – revealing lavish gifts of personal love – when we least expect it and often when we need it the most.

In uncertain times, when we can’t see what God’s up to, He gives us a powerful promise to help us remain anchored to His heart of love:

“The Lord himself goes before you and will be with you. He will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid. Do not be discouraged.” (Deuteronomy 31:8)

If your patience is being tested and your heart laid bare by a season of unanswered prayers, remember that God often does His best work behind closed doors. We can always be confident that God is with us and that He also goes before us, preparing surprise endings for us that will warm our hearts and elicit wide-eyed delight.

Lord, today I choose to throw off my weariness with the breath-taking reminder that You are working behind closed doors, preparing extravagant surprises just for me. Jesus, I love you so much. Thank you for the evidence of your personal love and care that is all around me.