Life is full of surprises—some delightful, some of them not so much. Kelly and I have had a string of unexpected events over the last month.

photo courtesy of alexander krivits, unsplash

First—his sudden trip to the hospital with an intestinal blockage just before Valentine’s. I was thankful our daughter was with him on this out-of-town trip. She kept me updated through the night, took him to the ER when necessary, and stayed until I could make the five-hour drive to be with him.

I drove through an unexpected snow storm to the hospital, thankful for my good little car with snow tires and four-wheel drive. Kelly received excellent care, didn’t have to have surgery, and was able to leave after three days. We stayed at our vacation rental a couple days to recoup and enjoy the beauty of the snow.

After a week at home, we embarked on our previously scheduled Valentine’s trip. All Kelly would tell me was we were headed to Idaho. When we got to Destinations Inn in Idaho Falls, I still had no clue what unexpected delights were behind the door marked “Paris.” Oh my!

We spent two fabulous days enjoying our own Eiffel shower, jacuzzi tub, Parisian café, candlelight, chocolates, sparkling cider, cheesecake, and breakfast delivered to our room. Then we got to move next door to “Venice” for another two nights in this magical hotel.

When it warmed to 32 degrees, we walked along the Snake River, which was covered with 4-inches of ice and topped by a foot of snow, yet water still trickled into it beneath the frozen falls. Beautiful! We visited the aquarium, drove around town, and dined out.

Then another unwelcome surprise. Our washer had quit unexpectedly in early February, so we had decided it was the perfect time for a makeover while we were away and waiting for new appliances. However, the crew working at our house had to cut a hole in the office floor, as well as a wall in the laundry room, to replace ancient plumbing. Sadly, they had just installed new flooring and painted the walls of the laundry room.

Since our house was torn apart, we stayed away another two nights. It was just as well—I came down with a cold and our new washer and dryer got delivered to Washington instead of to our house. (They finally arrived Tuesday and it was thrilling, after five weeks to wash clothes in my very own house.)

When we got home from our trip, we inspected all the work and began putting our home in order. In my exuberance, I caught my foot on the edge of the baseboard and broke my baby toe. Didn’t see that one coming either.

Three days later Kelly’s dad had a heart attack and the EMT’s were not able to resuscitate him. His death shocked us all.

I’m sure you prefer delightful surprises over hospital trips, home disasters, and losing loved ones as well. But in this world, we experience both pleasures and trials. This last year has brought unexpected disease, death, natural disasters, and violent uprisings—changing our world and shaking our sense of security.

As Easter approaches, I’m considering what a shock Jesus’ death was to His disciples. He was at the height of His popularity; they fully expected Him to take His rightful place as King over Israel. Instead, Jesus willingly offered himself as a sacrifice for our sins. But that was not the end. He then triumphed with the ultimate of all unexpected events, when He came out of that grave, victorious over death and hell.

Because of the unexpected resurrection of Christ, His disciples knew they could face anything that came their way—hunger, persecution, death. And because of Easter, we can face all the unexpected things in life, because Jesus walks through them with us. The unchanging love of God holds us steady—through His Word, through the prayers of God’s people, and in everyday blessings as simple as daffodils and rainbows.

“All praise to God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. It is by his great mercy that we have been born again, because God raised Jesus Christ from the dead. Now we live with great expectation…” (1 Peter 1:3, NLT).