Sometimes I receive unexpected Facebook messages from people I haven’t talked to in a long time or from those I don’t know well. Some ask me about what it takes to be a writer or if I’d be willing to read something they’ve written. Others message me with prayer requests or life updates. But every now and then, I get a message of encouragement or unexpected good news. Someone thought of me, appreciated me, and simply wanted to tell me! Sometimes they want to know if I’ll use my gifts to minister in their church or ministry. It’s good news right out of the blue—totally unexpected.

My favorite type of good news is the kind that’s “more than we might ask or think” (Ephesians 3:20). It’s a surprising gift that comes from God, often through others. It’s goodness we could only hope to realize. It’s dream-come-true goodness that we didn’t initiate. It’s God’s idea and His special way of blessing us.

These out of the blue, unexpected answers to prayer beautifully remind me that God actively works to seek and restore us to Himself. After all, Jesus died for us on the cross before we were born. He intervened before we were aware of our need.

As we move toward December and Christmas, I’m reminded of the night the shepherds were watching their flocks—simply going about business as usual (Luke 2:8). They didn’t expect a choir of angels to appear to them or to be the first to hear that the Messiah was born! (Luke 2:9-10). They weren’t royalty, wealthy, or well thought of in society. Yet, on what started out as a most ordinary night, God quite unexpectedly—and in a most spectacular way—initiated and intervened in their lives (Luke 2:11-12). May we see the “good gift” surprises He has for us today!

NLT 365-day reading plan passage for today: 2 Corinthians 4:1-18