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.
In Jesus’ name. Amen.
Copyright 2021: When We’re Hit Unexpectedly: Martin Wiles: All Rights Reserved