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  • Evelyn Collins

Unexpected Blessings in Life

Woman pushing shopping cart in grocery store.

May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.

                                               — Romans 15:13 NIV

Our family moved to Georgia and purchased a modest home in the small coastal town of Brunswick. One day, my friend Debbie and I went to the nearby supermarket with our daughters. The store rewarded loyal customers with S&H stamps based on the cost of their groceries. Because of stagflation in the 1980s, times were lean. Those stamps were like extra money. People took the coveted green stamps home and put them in booklets. Later, they redeemed them for merchandise from the area distribution center.

            That day, the grocery store was giving away several prizes. We reached the checkout minutes before they drew the winning tickets. Since I hadn’t shopped in several weeks, I thought, “Should I bother with one entry since my odds of winning are too low?” But my friend encouraged me to register. 

            We passed several people standing near the entrance. A woman who held a box of tickets and asked my preteen daughter to draw the winner. The lady shook and held the box out to Rhonda as I pushed the cart outside.

Halfway across the parking lot, I heard my daughter scream, “Mom, stop!” My younger daughter and I turned toward Rhonda.

A young girl in jeans and tennis shoes running

Her lanky legs sprinted, and she laughed as she raced up and grabbed me. “Mom, go back in there. You won.” 

            Laughing, I shook my head, thinking it was a joke, but she repeated it. “Mom, you won.” 

God blessed us with laughter, joy, and lots of rolls of S&H green stamps. We spent hours licking and placing green stamps into booklets. This small blessing brought hope beyond our expectations while we struggled during a plummeting economy.

I’m not surprised that God answers prayer, but the novel way He responds amazes me. His method brought hours of joy as I watched my girl’s radiant faces as we dreamed of the endless options. We had an abundance of booklets filled with stamps. Would we redeem them for insignificant items for the girls or one large item for the family? 

S&H green stamps and savor book

            Regardless of our economy, God loves us and promises to meet our basic needs. There may be times when we don’t know how God will meet our needs, but we walk with the Lord and seek Him for direction. He is the answer and His power is limitless.

            What if we saw ourselves as beloved children of Our Father, dreaming of abundant spiritual gifts, just like my girls surrounded by books filled with endless possibilities? All things are possible through Christ. His ability to accomplish our God-given dreams is larger than we can imagine. We should pursue God rather than limit our lives to situations beyond our control. He can do abundantly more than we can dream.


Lord, your peace and joy sustains and strengthens me. My hope is in you. Give me an awareness of your blessings in life to me. I praise you for all that you have provided.

Your turn

What situations in your life did God unexpectedly bless you?


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