When the earth quakes and its people live in turmoil, I am the one who keeps its foundations firm.~Psalm 75:3 NLT
Eleven hours is a long way to drive, but not if there’s something good at the end of the trip.
Arkansas. Eleven hours away. But the place our daughter and family had moved. And more recently, the place where she planned to birth our fifth grandson. As things worked out, the birth would happen during my spring break at school, meaning I wouldn’t lose any days.
Since we had seen them at Christmas, our daughter’s other two boys had both experienced birthdays. When Meme asked them if they wanted us to buy them a gift and send it, they said no. They wanted us to take them shopping during our visit.
We didn’t mind. We had come upon a store in their town named “Five Below.” As the name implies, all items are five dollars or less, and we were amazed at how much they offered for that price.
On our first day of visiting, we took both the boys to their favorite store and told them they could choose five items each. These would be their birthday and Easter presents.
One of the toys they both selected was boomerangs. When we arrived back at their house, they wanted me to show them how to throw the boomerang. Of course, neither boomerang boomeranged. Perhaps because I had no experience in boomeranging. Eventually, the older grandson tossed his to the ground and picked up a football for us to throw.
As we tossed the football back and forth, the younger brother decided to try his boomerang again. I didn’t see it coming, but I felt it when it hit me on the forehead, leaving a mark for the next couple of days. An unintentional blow—and an unexpected one—but a blow, nonetheless.
Life often hits us with unexpected things, too. Financial loss. Relationship breakups. Bullying, Peer pressure. Divorce. Death. Disease. Pandemics. Fear. Worry. Anxiety. When it does, we need to hear again what God told the psalmist:
Dear brothers and sisters, when troubles of any kind come your way, consider it an opportunity for great joy. For you know that when your faith is tested, your endurance has a chance to grow.~James 1:2-3 NLT
When the unexpected blows come, we can cower in fear and retreat into ourselves, pulling away from everyone and everything. I could have escaped inside the house and refused to play with my grandsons anymore.
We can nurse our wounds. I could have stopped tossing the football with my oldest grandson, went inside, and nursed my wound. I didn’t.
We can also choose to move on when the unexpected blows hit—the wisest choice. I felt my forehead, saw that it wasn’t bleeding, and kept playing—after cautioning my youngest grandson not to throw the boomerang at anyone.
God reminded the psalmist that He kept the foundations of the world secure. He still does. When we belong to God, He’ll keep the foundations of our lives secure, too, when the unanticipated blows come. After all, they are only unexpected to us, not God.
When life’s unforeseen blows hit you, remember who is in control.
What do you do when life delivers the unexpected?
Father God, enable us to trust You when life comes at us in unpredicted ways.
Copyright 2021: When We’re Hit Unexpectedly: Martin Wiles: All Rights Reserved
Meet Our Contributor
Martin Wiles is an author, English teacher, and freelance editor who resides in Greenwood, South Carolina.
He is the founder and editor of the internationally recognized devotion site, Love Lines from God.
Wiles is the managing editor for Christian Devotions, the senior editor for Inspire a Fire, and a proof editor for Courier Publishing. He has also served as web content editor for Lighthouse Publishing of the Carolinas.
Wiles has authored A Whisper in the Wood: Quiet Escapes in a Noisy World(Ambassador International), Grits & Grace & God, and Grits, Gumbo, and Going to Church (Lighthouse Publishing of the Carolinas), Morning By Morning, Morning Serenity, and Grace Greater Than Sin (America Star Books), and is a contributing author in Penned from the Heart (Son-Rise Publications), Rise (Chaplain Publishing), and Love Knots: Stories of Faith, Family, and Friendships (VineWords Publishing).
He has served as regional correspondent and Sunday school lesson writer for the Baptist Courier and has also written for Lifeway’s Bible Studies for Life curriculum.
Wiles has been published in Christian Living in the Mature Years, Mature Living, Open Windows, Proclaim, The Secret Place, The Word in Season, Upper Room, Light from the Word, Reach Out Columbia, Mustard Seed Ministries, Journey Christian Newspaper, Common Ground Herald, The Quiet Hour, Power for Living, Halo Magazine, Joyful Living Magazine, Christian Broadcasting Network, Sharing, Today’s Christian Living, These Days, Plum Tree Tavern, Eskimo Pie, The Scarlet Leaf Review, Creation Illustrated, LIVE, Purpose Magazine, Stand Firm, The Banner, Relevant, and Lutheran Digest.
He is a regular contributor to Christian Devotions, PCC Daily Devotions, Theology Mix, Inspire a Fire, The Write Conversation, and Vine Words: Devotions and More, and is a regular writer for the Dorchester County Eagle Record, the Orangeburg County Times and Democrat, and the Greenwood County Index Journal.
Wiles’s latest book, Don’t Just Live…Really Live is under contract with Ambassador International.
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Managing Editor, Christian Devotions
Senior Editor, Inspire a Fire
Proof Editor, Courier Publishing
On the Web: Love Lines From God