Life has its way of throwing curve balls at us. Sometimes things happen, seemingly out of nowhere, that completely turn all our best plans upside down. Change and unexpected circumstances happen – that’s part of life. The question is: how do we react when they do happen?
To some degree, our personality and upbringing shape our thinking and reactions. Some of us thrive on schedules and well laid-out plans, others are more laid back and go with the flow.
However, I believe that we all struggle with fears, worries, insecurities, and doubt. We can all have the tendency to gripe or complain. There are some surprises that we’d just rather not deal with. We wish we could avoid certain changes.
That is why Jesus instructed all of us not to worry, not to doubt, not to fear. He assured all of us that He will be with us always, to the very end of time. And the Apostle Paul went on to say that God is our strength, His grace is sufficient, and His strength is made perfect in our weakness.
What an amazing God we serve! He has provided all things we could ever need for a godly life, and He is never taken by surprise or stumped by any of our life’s circumstances. He is going before us, as our Good Shepherd, and He is already in our future.
So where does that leave us? We can become overwhelmed, flustered, stressed, or even depressed by the things that happen, or we can choose to trust in Him who holds the entire universe and our futures in His hand. We can choose to have an attitude of thankfulness and contentedness and see God’s blessings through it all.
With that choice, we can feel secure, confident and at peace in the midst of the wildest storm because of Him who is with us and in us. We can count on His strength, rest in His arms, and find courage through His Spirit. We can step forward with joy, since our Source of Joy is God Himself, no matter our circumstances. The Beatitudes in Matthew 5 are just one example of that. And we can be free to take our eyes off ourselves – knowing that God will take care of us – and instead learn to humbly and lovingly serve others. Jesus left us the perfect example when He chose to wash His disciples’ feet – including Judas’ – even though He knew what was waiting for Him just a short while later. He trusted His fate into the hands of His Father and did what He came here to do.
There is a quote I stumbled upon. I don’t know who wrote it, but it summarizes things beautifully: “And yet, after all that life brings me, I know of only one thing that is for certain and it is that God is still faithful”.
God is still faithful – what assurance and courage we can gain from that truth! May we learn, day by day, to hold tightly to our Father’s hand, to trust in His care for us, and to find joy in our day-to-day surprises and circumstances. This is how we will glorify our Lord and be a light to those around us.