In every life, unexpected things happen. Sometimes we’re surprised by blessings; other times, broken by bad experiences. Today, I want to take a minute and remind you of a truth that can offer comfort when the unexpected happens.
Here it is: Nothing ever surprises God.
Did you hear that?
The circumstances you find yourself in today might have blindsided you, but our great God didn’t wake up this morning and think, “Oops…I didn’t see that coming.”
Psalm 139 puts it this way:
“All the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be.” (Psalm 139:16)
I don’t know about you, but I find great comfort in that fact; it’s help me walk through some hard times.
For instance, when my parents were going through their divorce, I was a freshman in college and completely heartbroken. I questioned everything, including why God allowed these things to happen at that particular time in my life. Didn’t he know how hard it was? Didn’t he realize how lonely I was?
Then I read words that changed my life. They were:
“Nothing ever just occurs to God.”
Let that thought sink in for just a moment.
He didn’t watch my parents marriage fall apart and then think, “Oh, it just occurred to me that Charlie is going to college this year. What am I going to do about that?”
No, he planned my life with perfect knowledge of all that would happen, and when he considered the fact my parents would divorce, he planned my life accordingly.
I’ve thought about that a lot over the last week, knowing that people I know are struggling to understand his plan in some very difficult circumstances right now.
I don’t have answers for them, but I do have faith.
- God is good.
- He works all things for the good of those who love him.
- His timing is perfect.
- He will be glorified, even in hard times.
All of these thoughts reminded me of the time we took our oldest child to Kenya on a mission trip when she was just two years old. Leading up to the trip, which I was leading, the details just kept changing. Every day or so, I received emails from the Kenyan coordinator about a change to our location or lodging. Our flight details kept changing, too. In fact, I had to tell the school I was teaching at that I would be gone more than a week longer than expected because we couldn’t get a flight out of Kenya until much later than we had planned.
The day we arrived in Kenya, the 2017 presidential election results were announced, and many people in the country began to protest. Violence broke out, and there we were, with our two-year-old daughter, right in the middle of it.
The place our Kenyan coordinator had finally settled on as our accommodation belonged to a man who was able to provide safe passage through riots and a perfectly peaceful place to stay. He had been the police commissioner of Kenya for many years.
The people we worked with (who were not the people we had planned to work with) were very open to the Gospel because of the fear and uncertainty they were facing at the time.
The international airport in Nairobi closed during the violence, and it did not reopen until the very day our flight was scheduled to depart.
Because God did not wake up that day and think, “Well, I guess I should have planned this better.”
His plans are always perfect, and no matter what they are, we can trust him.
Today’s free printable is a simple reminder of that fact.
To access the free printable (as well as the others I’ve given away this month), just subscribe below. And, please be sure to participate in Encouraging Word Wednesday this week!