A Riddle, a Word and the Land of Surprises

Do you have a favorite word? I do. When you solve this riddle, you’ll know what it is. It’s a fun word, fresh and full of energy. It skips across your tongue and tickles your fancy just to say it. It’s a mysterious phenomenon, many-faceted in its delivery. It can come when you least expect it but need it most. When it does show up, it instantly lifts your spirit and changes your mood. It often stirs up gratitude where there was none. It can warm a cold heart and turn sorrow to joy. It can boost your faith and restore your hope. It can make you laugh and cry at the same time. Sadly, we don’t encounter it very often. And yet, when one does appear, we welcome its intrusion like a long lost friend. What is it?

What do you think? You may have already guessed it. It may even be your favorite word, as well. But if you still don’t know the answer, here are more clues.

Webster defines the word as: “the faculty of discovering desirable or valuable things accidentally or unexpectedly.” According to Wikipedia, it means a “happy accident” or “pleasant surprise.” A British translation company voted the word one of the ten English words hardest to translate. Julius H. Comroe described it as “to look for a needle in a haystack and get out with the farmer’s daughter.”

You got it! My favorite word is serendipity. Don’t you love it? Not only the word, but what it conveys? When was the last time you were surprised by something desirable or valuable? You wouldn’t have expected it in a million years but it came right to you. There it was—a blessing seemingly out of nowhere.

Some people don’t like surprises. But how could anyone not welcome an unexpected blessing?

Let’s envision God in heaven. He’s holding a huge bag filled with serendipities. Each one is designated for a specific person in a specific place at a specific time. Let’s call the place the Land of Surprises. You and I are there going about our daily lives. We have no idea what God has for us in the future. But we know there will be surprises. After all, we live in the Land of Surprises.

Let’s take a moment from our busy day and consider how God has surprised us in the past. Perhaps this will encourage our expectations for the future. Let’s get started. How would you complete these thoughts?

  • Since becoming a Christian, I’ve been surprised to learn that God ___________________________________________________________. 
  • When I was going through a really tough time in my life, I was surprised how God_________________________________________________________.
  • When I needed it most and least expected it, God surprised me by _______________________________________________________________.

Serendipities come in various shapes and forms. And God oversees them all. Why? Because He’s a serendipitous God, and His Word is filled with surprises.

God’s Word is fresh, full of energy and even fun. It’s mysterious and many-faceted in its delivery. His Word lifts your spirit and changes your mood. It stirs up warmth and gratitude in a cold and ungrateful heart. It boosts your faith and restores your hope. It can make you laugh and cry at the same time. Sadly, we don’t encounter it as much as we could. And yet when we do, we welcome it like a cold drink of water on a hot day.

Have you been surprised by God over the years? If you’ve been paying attention, I’ll bet you have! And there’s more to come. We don’t know when or how, but we can be sure of this. God will never run out of serendipities.

4 Responses to “A Riddle, a Word and the Land of Surprises”
  1. I’ve never thought about a favorite word, but I like yours! And I love God’s serendipities! I’m especially excited when I recognize them while they’re happening. I usually have to look back to see them, but every now and then I realize it and enjoy it.

    Thanks for the fun thought this morning, Liz!

  2. Mary Beth Welsh says:

    Serendipities do come in various shapes and forms and two of them are you and your blog. What joy in realizing every moment is opportunity for new surprises. I love you.

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