This week, a teen in our youth group was hit by a car while crossing the street on foot. He is in extremely critical condition, his future very uncertain. We all are in shock. There was no way to foresee this. There are alot of should haves, would haves and wish Id's going around.
This terrible and tragic event has really brought to light something for me.
Things happen all around us and sometimes we miss just what it was that could have made it seem...bearable.
It seems that there are times when everything is great, and you don't have any problem answering the questions you come across or experiencing life the way God wants you to.
Then there are times that are quiet, where you aren't exactly growing, but it is also not a time of testing. Maybe we'll call it a time of resting and refreshing.
Sometimes we go through a time that I call "little things". Nothing major has happened, no big time of testing, but all those little things just seem to keep piling up, until you feel like you just might break under the load.
Then there are times of active distress and uncertainty. An event so unforeseen, so incomprehensible happens that you are just left stunned and unmoving, questioning where to go and how to begin again from here.
It is so human to look at those last two categories and just wish them away.
"Oh, if only it never had to be!"
In our desire to live a life that glorifies God, we focus so much on finding ways to praise and worship, that we forget to get down in the dirt and strengthen our foundations.
When life is good, who wants to think about growing our trust in God to carry us through the death of a loved one, material loss, betrayal by friends, disappointment in our family? When we are in a period of quiet, we never seem to hurry to get that one little thing under control. We like to think that we will get to it "later". After all, it's just a little thing.
A prudent person foresees danger and takes precautions. The simpleton goes blindly on and suffers the consequences.
~ Proverbs 22:3 (NLT)
It's great to spend time in celebration of the wonderful things that God has done, and is doing in your life, but more importantly, we should be strengthening our spiritual foundation for those days when our world gets turned upside down.
If you are like me, too often instead of spending dedicated time with God, searching His word for guidance and instruction, you jump in with a quick five minute devotion sometime after coffee and getting the kids to school and starting the laundry, and scheduling a dentist appointment and, well, you get the idea! You really do plan to ponder what you read for the remainder of the day, but you quickly lose focus the first time something distracts you. Sure, we got our Bible time in, but what did we REALLY get out of it?
Instead of scrambling to understand and cope when the "little things" break us, or when the unimaginable deals us a blow to the heart, what if we spent our time building up trust and understanding of God's sovereignty every day? If we study the Bible to learn the character of God on the days that everything seems good, then on the days when we just don't have it in us to search, we will have that knowledge tucked away in our hearts and minds.
Below are some verses that might help you get started on planning for those days that strike with the unexpected.
Trust in the Lord with all your heart; do not depend on your own understanding. Seek his will in all you do, and he will direct your paths.
I have a plan for the whole earth, for my mighty power reaches throughout the world. The Lord Almighty has spoken - who can change his plans? When his hand moves, who can stop him?
We know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them.
God's secret plan has now been revealed to us; it is a plan centered on Christ, designed long ago according to his good pleasure. And this is his plan: at the right time he will bring everything together under the authority of Christ - everything in heaven and on earth.
I have added a video to this posting. It is Kari Jobe singing The More I Seek You. I pray that we all find a little more of God this week.